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Ernst Rauch, chief climate scientist at Munich Re:

‘German farmers should think about growing figs and olives’

In an interview with Tagesspiegel Background, Ernst Rauch, chief climate scientist at reinsurance group Munich Re, said that German farmers should consider switching to more heat resistant crops. “Anything that can withstand drought and heat is good,” Rauch said, commenting on the increasing temperatures that are having dramatic effects on German forests and agriculture.

Rauch is convinced that fruits that thrive in drought areas in southern Europe and Africa will likely find their way to northern and eastern Germany.

“Brandenburg's farmers are well advised to consider such alternatives as well,” he added, referring to the north-eastern German state. “Farmers will adapt. They need more resistant varieties and better irrigation options,” he said. However he warned the situation for farmers in these regions may worsen: “Someone has to pay the sometimes enormous costs of weather-related crop failures."


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