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Drought and Deluge: 900,000 Sri Lankans Face Famine

Posted by feww on June 22, 2017

Sri Lanka’s Food Production Hit by Extreme Events

Growing food insecurity: Rice production to drop by 40 percent in 2017

Extreme drought followed by floods in Sri Lanka has hit large swaths of cropping areas, threatening the food security of more than 900,000 people in Sri Lanka, said a joint report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN World Food Program (WFP).

Drought conditions in 2016 and early 2017 led to widespread crop failures, especially the rice paddy – the country’s staple food. Total paddy production in 2017 is forecast at 2.7 million tons, about 40 percent less than the last year’s output.

Other crops, including various pulses, chillies and onion, which rely mainly on rainwater, were also heavily damaged by the dry weather, increasing food insecurity, said the report.

The situation was exacerbated by subsequent heavy rainfalls in May. Floods and landslides in the south-western parts of the country caused deaths, large population displacements and damage to infrastructure. The rains did not ease the water supply constraints in the drought-impacted north-central and eastern parts of the country.

 

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