A file photo of Hongshan Mountain in Chifeng City in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Photo: CFP

By B. Khash-Erdene
24 July 2015

(UB Post) – Approximately 80 percent of Mongolia’s crops have died this summer due to extreme drought across the country, according to board member of the Mongolian Plantation Union B. Erdenebat.

Though the situation has reached a critical level, the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture has yet to take action, let alone announce to the public what is happening.

According to B. Erdenebat, who is more commonly known as a member of the famous Mongolian pop group Camerton, crop fields remain productive in only in the regions of the Khalkh River in Bulgan and Selenge provinces.

Not counting equipment purchase costs, B. Erdenebat said the damages amount to 150 billion MNT [$75,715,723] so far.  Some soums have started preparing soil for next year, as it is evident that no yield can be expected this year.

According to B. Erdenebat, crop farmers and provinces have been urging the ministry to prepare for cloud seeding to force rain, without much success, since winter.

“Crop farmers and union members have been telling the ministry [about drought conditions] all winter. We asked them to allocate a budget and prepare cloud seeding equipment and cartridges. We reminded them that plantation yield is cyclical and that since the last few years gave a good harvest, this year will be difficult. But the ministry did not take any measures. They have been very irresponsible in this regard. They kept reciting bad financial standings and didn’t heed our words,” B. Erdenebat told Udriin Sonin.

“Almost 80 percent of the cloud seeding cartridges were used to put out the wildfire in Dornod Province this spring … China and Russia have lost 20 to 25 percent of their crops, but we lost 80 percent,” he added.

Although cloud seeding has been effective in bringing about rain in the past, the union said that the state’s cloud seeding personnel had been changed entirely and the new staff haven’t been able to produce rain effectively.

Although cloud seeding has been effective in bringing about rain in the past, the union said that the state’s cloud seeding personnel had been changed entirely and the new staff haven’t been able to produce rain effectively.

The prices of flour and rice will increase this fall due to the losses in crops, according to analysts.

Last year, Mongolia harvested more than it had in over 17 years, but the state only reserved 30,000 tons of grain, a one-month reserve.  According to B. Erdenebat, the Plantation Union advised the ministry to buy reserves from private companies, and received no response.

“Mongolia should at least have a year’s worth of reserve since it can’t manage four to five years like bigger countries. But the ministry didn’t listen. The people will feel what it’s like to live in a country with no reserve this fall,” he said.

B. Erdenebat said that when given the official report on the dying crops, the ministry told him “not to be so downtrodden and think about good things.”

The Ministry of Agriculture refused to comment via phone on the issue.

B. Erdenebat said that next year will also be a difficult one for crop farmers and plantations, as cyclical droughts usually continue for two to three years.

It is astounding how little attention is being given to the agricultural industry issue when it is in such a dire state. The domestic production of Mongolia’s most basic food commodity of flour and grain has just been cut. [more]

80 percent of crops dead, 150 billion MNT buried in the ground

26 July 2015 (CRI English) – A severe drought that began in June has hit the Hulunbuir City and the mid-western part of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The drought has caused nearly 2 billion yuan, or approximately 327 million US dollars, in direct economic losses, China News reports.

The Department of Water Resources of Inner Mongolia announced on Sunday that around 310,000 people and 2 million livestock are affected by drinking water shortage, as 378 rivers in the region, along with 177 reservoirs, are drained.

The locals are also experiencing crop damages in nearly 2 million hectares of farmland, including strong damages in around 500,000 hectares.

The drought has also brought locusts to the region, affecting over 2 million hectares of grassland since the beginning of July, the report says.

In addition, local meteorological authorities issued a yellow warning for heat waves on July 24, saying that the highest temperature of the mid-western part of the region could reach above 35 degrees Celsius for the next three days, with Alxa League in the west expecting above 37 degrees Celsius.

Inner Mongolia Hit by Severe Drought



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