China’s eight winter-wheat-producing provinces are facing their worst drought in 60 years. Over 7.7 million hectares have been affected, 42% of the planned harvest, which has prompted the UN to issue a warning about the potential effects on international food prices. The Chinese government has announced a plan to spend 6.7 million RMB combating the problem, which likely began with cloud seeding that resulted in a long-awaited snow yesterday.
The plan is also to include irrigation projects, construction of emergency wells, and the diverting of water to the affected areas, where three million people are dealing with a drinking water shortages. Some money will go towards spurring rice production to offset the expected lower wheat output.
Shandong has been the hardest hit, and if precipitation doesn’t come before the end of this month, it will be the worst drought in 200 years.
China is the world’s largest wheat consumer. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, average wheat flour prices in China rose 8% in January.
The pictures above are all from Netease, gathered over the past week or so.