Global Food and Water Security Alerts

20 November 2019

China Premier Calls for More Water Diversion to Ease Shortages

Premier Li Keqiang suggested that China needs to divert more water to its arid north. He said that local government bonds should be “tilted” towards water infrastructure to increase per capita water supplies, which are about a quarter of the global average. Li stated that China needs to research water conservation methods to reduce water consumption. He also claimed that the South-North Water Diversion Project had improved Chinese water security. That project, however, has not been as successful as he claims, and could be undermined by drier conditions in southern China.

 

Food Security Fears as Locusts Destroy Crops in Pakistan’s Worst Plague Since the 1990s

Pakistani farmers claim that the worst locust plague since the 1990s has devastated wheat, cotton and vegetable crops in the south-west of the country. Zahid Bhurguri, the General Secretary of the Sindh Chamber of Agriculture, said that the locusts had destroyed up to 40 per cent of crops in affected areas.

Sindh Agriculture Minister Ismail Rahu stated that ‘the sudden emergence of locust is in fact their migratory process … The people of Karachi should not worry as it is a harmless activity and has almost come to an end.’ Officials from the Department of Plant Protection and the Ministry of National Food Security and Research claim that the locusts do not pose any risk to the Pakistani food supply.

The locusts have spread into the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, which borders Pakistan. The Food and Agriculture Organization has expressed concern about the scale of the locust attack, which is reportedly the largest attack ever recorded in Rajasthan, and is lending support to the Locust Warning Organization (LWO) in Jodhpur. The LWO claims that Pakistan violated an international agreement by failing to act to reduce locust numbers in its territory.

Global Animal Protein Outlook 2020: Seeking Opportunities in an Uncertain World

Rabobank, a multinational bank that focusses on food and agriculture financing, released its global animal protein outlook for 2020 last week. It expects the African Swine Fever (ASF) epidemic in China and South-East Asia driving demand for global animal protein in 2020. The disease is expected to continue to spread in China over the next 12 months, but at a slower pace. Restocking will probably take about five years and it could be difficult for the country to increase the national herd back to pre-ASF levels. Aquaculture and poultry are expected to be the main driver of an increase in protein production.

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