Drought Ravages Farms Across Wide Swath Of Mexico

Photo retrieved from: www.npr.org

“Rodarte says that for the past two years, the crops that he’s planted here have failed. Normally, he plants beans and corn to feed his family, and oats to sell. He says he hasn’t harvested anything because the land is too dry and there’s no water.

This is an arid part of Mexico, but normally there’s a rainy season between June and September, allowing farmers to grow crops during the summer. They also tend cattle on the scrubby rolling hills dotted with cactuses.

Rodarte has lived here all his life and says this is the worst drought he’s ever seen.

“Now most people are leaving,” he says, “to the cities, the coasts where it rains, or to the United States. That’s where the people are going to work. And those who are abroad in the U.S. are the ones who are sustaining the families here. They send us a little bit of money.”

The drought is extending across a broad swath of central, northwestern and northern Mexico.

Sugar exports are expected to drop 40 percent, and one top military official says the lack of rain is even hurting marijuana production in Durango. Many farmers have been forced to sell off their livestock as pastures and watering holes run dry.

Government To Provide Aid

President Felipe Calderon has pledged billions of dollars in assistance to the hardest hit states, and vowed that no one is going to starve because of the crisis.”

Read more: NPR

 

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