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China Drought Devastates Grain Crops


State-run media in China say the worst drought to hit the southwest in 50 years has caused a loss of nearly five million tons of grain.

The China Daily reported Thursday the drought has affected about two million hectares of agricultural land in Sichuan province.

The government is urging farmers to plant crops like sweet potatoes, beans and yams, which can be harvested later in the season to make up for the shortfall.

Authorities say the dry spell has threatened the supply of drinking water to nearly 10 million people and caused a billion dollars in economic losses.

The Sichuan provincial government has reserved two and a half million dollars for fund relief for county agricultural bureaus.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters

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