Friday, August 28, 2009

Oxfam blames poor farming yields in Nepal on climate change

The charity Oxfam says extreme food shortages in Nepal are to due to climate change. Oxfam says that weather pattern changes has effected farmers yields in the country.

The poverty fighting charity calls on government and NGO's to provide assistance to rural farmers during the upcoming planting season by introducing new crop varieties and assistance with irrigation.

From this Associated Press story hosted at Google, writer Binaj Gurubacharya details Oxfam's statement.

Changing weather patterns have dramatically affected crop production in Nepal, leaving farmers unable to properly feed themselves and pushing them into debt, Oxfam International said in a report released in Katmandu.

The British aid agency described the situation as "deeply worrying."

"Communities told us crop production is roughly half that of previous years ... Last year many could only grow enough (food) for one month's consumption," said Oxfam's Wayne Gum, adding that less precipitation has been forecast this winter, which will make the situation worse.

More extreme temperatures, drier winters and delays in summer monsoons have all compounded the situation, the report said.

More than 3.4 million people in Nepal are estimated to require food assistance, and food stocks in farming communities will last only a few months, it warned.

Oxfam said Nepal will likely suffer more frequent droughts because of climate change. River levels will decline due to the reduced rainfall and glacial retreat, making it harder to irrigate crops and provide water for livestock.

"The predicted impacts of climate change will heighten existing vulnerabilities, inequalities and exposure to hazards," the report said.

1 comment:

Ringo said...

Climate change is probably the most unjust man-made disaster in the face of the Earth because it strikes the hardest to those that contributes the least to climate change. Like the subsistence farmers and pastoral people of Nepal and others on the planet. As a supporter of products who donate some of their profits to OXFAM and CARE, I think these humanitarian organizations now face an uphill battle as the world's governments still drag their heels when it comes to a concerted effort to tackle climate change.