[QODLink]
Weather

Brazil's drought reaches historic levels

The worst drought in 50 years takes toll on livestock and crops

Last Modified: 16 Apr 2013 12:01
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
This farmer cuts cactus to burn before feeding it to her goats in the absence of green pasture [Reuters]

The worst drought in 50 years is affecting several states in northeast Brazil.

Some of these areas have not seen rain in over a year, while for others, it has been just a few drops since November.

The ongoing drought has been affecting much of northeastern Brazil for several years. It is estimated that upwards of 10 million people have been affected, making it the worst drought since 1963.

The semiarid region of the state of Bahia is the worst hit. More than a million head of cattle have perished, equivalent to half of the region’s cattle herd.

But it’s not only livestock, crops are also suffering from the drought. In northern Minas Gerias approximately 90% of the corn crops have been lost. Cassave flour which is the staple of the Brazilian diet has been badly affected, that prices for this necessity have risen by up to 700%.

While the federal government cannot change the rain situation, it is trying to take a more proactive approach in providing emergency measures for the population. The government is allocating $4.44 billion in federal funds to combat the effects of the drought.

Programmes such as Carro-Pipa have been working tirelessly to distribute water and build or fix wells in municipalities affected most by the drought.

With no guarantee that the drought situation will improve in the years to come, other research initiatives are being developed. The organization Adapta Sertao has been testing alternative ways to irrigate and provide nutrition to livestock. Adapta Sertao does this by teaching farmers to think differently about how they use their water such as reusing sink and bath water for irrigation.

In these days of more severe droughts for many places around the world, it may be this adaptive learning philosophy that carries farmers through the long dry spells.

 

302

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.