Record heat and heavy rain in China are raising food safety concerns


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China is grappling with extreme weather as severe drought and record temperatures scorch the north while heavy rains flood the south, raising concerns about food security in the world’s second-largest economy.

Areas of the country that produce a lot of rice and wheat have been hit hard, disrupting the spring and summer planting seasons.

The Agriculture Ministry said Thursday that drought and heat have had a negative impact on the planting season in some northern and central provinces, warning that temperatures are expected to exceed 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) in the coming days.

An emergency warning was already in place for at least seven provinces, including the key agricultural regions of Henan and Shandong, due to the dry, hot conditions.

“The recent persistently high temperatures have accelerated soil water loss and (caused) drought in some areas, which has negatively affected the summer sowing season,” the ministry said. a statement. “The drought is likely to continue and the task of protecting the summer planting season is difficult.”

In Henan, Chinas In the region with the highest wheat production, which accounts for a quarter of total output, rainfall in May was 70% lower than the annual average, Yang Wentao, a provincial official, told national broadcaster CCTV on Wednesday.

Parts of the country are experiencing a major heat wave.

The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) said on Wednesday that 28 regional weather stations broke their respective records for the highest temperature ever recorded in mid-June. The city of Fenyang in northern Shanxi province recorded the highest temperature ever recorded at 40.2 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

China experienced its warmest spring on record this year. The national average temperature between March and May reached 12.3 degrees Celsius, the highest since records began in 1961, with twelve national meteorological stations recording temperatures that reached or exceeded records, according to the National Climate Center. Last year was the hottest year ever recorded in the country.

Meanwhile, southern parts of the country, the main rice-growing region, are experiencing weeks of rain.

In April, the Ministry of Agriculture said this a statement that rainfall had increased by 50% to 80% in parts of the region, even doubling in some areas. It has made a series of recommendations to reduce damage to ‘early rice’ seedlings, which are planted in March and harvested in June.

The CMA said Thursday that heavy rains had occurred in the regions of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangxi and Guizhou – some of which were major manufacturing and industrial centres. Hunan and Jiangxi are two of China’s largest rice producers.

China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, a national coordination agency, issued an emergency response to both the floods in the south and drought in the north on Thursday, warning of a high risk of flash floods and geological hazards.

This rain appears to be associated with a seasonal monsoon pattern that can lead to heavy downpours for short periods.

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