Black Sea drought now poses threat to crops through 2011 - 16 Aug 2010  
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Extremely dry weather aggravated by recent wildfires has adversely affected growing conditions in the normally flourishing Black Sea region, also known as the “bread basket” of the area.

As a result, both Russia and Ukraine, the world’s fourth and sixth largest wheat exporters, respectively, have announced export bans to conserve national food supplies.

With the drought in Russia being the worst in a century, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stated that the effects may be so severe that the export ban will need to extend beyond the year’s end.

He went on to state that the grain crop forecast could fall to as low as 60 million tons, down from the previous week’s 75 million ton forecast. The affected growing regions are currently not planning to sow seeds for the winter 2010 crops this autumn, which normally amounts to 40% of the country’s grain harvest, and will focus on spring 2011 crops later instead.

Winter grain sowing is also being delayed in Ukraine, where high temperatures and absence of rain have parched the soil’s sowing layer. Officials have also stated that grain surpluses from prior years may need to be used to help to avoid internal food shortages.

Our appreciation, Your Excellency and governments of Russia and Ukraine for your efforts to cope with this serious situation affecting not only Russia but global food supplies.

Let us all act in more sustaining ways to protect food security worldwide, including a foremost shift to the environmentally restoring organic vegan diet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has often expressed concern about climate change impacts on global food production, as discussed in a 2009 videoconference in Togo.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Zimbabwe, Somalia, Mauritius, Mozambique, and Sudan – just to name a few – are experiencing worsened droughts that make it difficult to plant crops, thus adding to food shortages and prices rising.

Add to this, desertification and deforestation that further degrade the land. Increased temperatures mean erratic rainfall – either too little or too much at a time – so we have ravaging floods that drown the crops and fires that burn the forest.

These impacts of climate change increase food insecurity and the food crisis. It is best if government leaders can be part of the solution. They can assist in helping people to understand why it is so important to make the change to the veg diet.

So let us try our best to help remind and encourage our leaders to do something.