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Rainfall eases drought

CHINA'S Ministry of Agriculture yesterday downgraded the drought to a second-class emergency as snow and rain fell on northern farmland in the past week.

In China's eight major wheat-growing provinces, including Henan, Hebei and Shandong, the area of drought-affected land had decreased by more than half from the most severe period, the MOA said in a statement yesterday.

It said recent snow and rain in the north greatly alleviated the drought.

The MOA launched a top-level emergency response to the drought on February 2, sending experts to help farmers irrigate their crops. It tried cloud-seeding and diverting water from rivers.

But the drought will continue and even worsen in some areas as rising temperatures would increase water demand.

About 10 percent of farmland in the eight provinces was still suffering from the drought, the MOA said.

Nationwide, there were about 4.7 million hectares of drought-affected crops, 6.1 million hectares less than the worst time of the drought on February 7, said the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Thursday.


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