Dalchan Singh, a root crop farmer and board member of the Agricultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago, says the past year has seen drastic changes in the weather of this twin-island Caribbean nation.
Drought and chronic water shortages played a significant role in sparking Syria's civil war and in unrest throughout much of the Middle East, water experts now believe.
Agriculture as it exists today developed over 11,000 years of rather remarkable climate stability. It has evolved to maximize production within that climate system. Now, suddenly, the climate is changing. With each passing year, the agricultural system is becoming more out of sync with the climate system.
Gulam Rasul, chief meteorologist at the Pakistan Meteorological Department, was sure early this month that the second leg of the annual monsoon due in the latter half of the month was going to be bad. “Normally it peaks towards late August,” Rasul told IPS.
Zareena Bano has had to skip school 17 times this year to help out on her family’s farm in Tangchekh village in the northern Indian state of Kashmir.
Life for a widow with young children in Sri Lanka’s poor agrarian areas can be harsh. Families in remote areas like Anuradhapura in the North Central Province barely eke out a living through paddy cultivation or through vegetable and other crops planted in cleared jungle shrub - Chena cultivation as it is called.
Bangladesh, a country of 150 million people who depend on rice as their main staple, is gearing up for drought. Already huge areas of the rice-producing regions are on a knife's edge, as elusive rains and hotter temperatures team up on thirsty paddy fields and threaten to disrupt food supply.
The first surprise on arriving at Abel Manto's farm is how green it is, in contrast with the dry brown surroundings. His beans and fruit trees seem oblivious to the persistent drought in the semi-arid hinterland of northeast Brazil, the worst in 50 years.
Untold thousands dead and thousands more stranded or missing - these are the latest figures from various reports on the devastation caused by flash floods in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.
When 45-year-old Kaswati joined an income-generating project in her village in Indonesia’s West Java province in 1999, all she hoped to do was supplement her family’s income at a time of erratic harvests.
Since food and water are so closely interlinked, there is a lingering fear based on the assumption, if there is no water, there will be no food.
“I would never have believed it possible to get a bumper rice harvest during the drought season,” 43-year-old Mohammad Shajahan Ali, a farmer hailing from the village of Magtapur in Bangladesh’s northern Chapainawabganj district, told IPS.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has long warned that a quarter of the world’s farmland is “highly degraded".
The overcast sky is a sign that it might rain, and Happy Shongwe, a smallholder farmer from rural Maphungwane in eastern Swaziland, is not exactly happy.
It was another Monday afternoon in the remote Thai village of Baan Dong when an incoming text message lit up the black, dust-covered Nokia phone belonging to Eiem Sompeng.