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Chinese farmers reel from heatwave, food inflation looming

In July and August, China experienced its longest and most intense heat wave since meteorological records began in 1961. Weeks of scorching heat and no rainfall has left 66 rivers and 25 reservoirs dry in Chongqing. The heat has seriously affected agricultural production in parts of the country and could result in higher food inflation going forward.

Some local farmers have said that they were getting 80 per cent less yield than before. A farmer in Xinshi village, Chongqing, said: “I planted two fields. All the crops have dried and died. The soil is as hard as rock.”

Incredibly, agricultural tractors tend to catch fire under high heat, which made farmers less inclined to use them this summer.  As the planting season has begun, experts said the impact will be felt come harvest time.

The Central Meteorological Observatory had warned that the unprecedented heatwave would affect the production of grains like soybean, wheat and corn.


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