Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tiny island with a global warning

The island, part of a chain called the Sundarbans, was first settled by farmers in colonial times when the authorities decided to expand rice production to feed the multitudes in the city of Calcutta.

But when I visited Ghoramara there was powerful evidence that soil erosion caused in part by farming and the rising surrounding sea level caused by global warming were gradually making the island disappear.

...The factors which are impacting on food production include soil erosion caused by intensive farming, and global warming which could reduce the yield of staple grains or make weather patterns less predictable for farmers.

..."In terms of the basic cereals like rice, wheat and maize, we probably need 50-60%t more production by, say, 2030", warns Mark Rosegrant of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington.

Earlier coverage: Rising sea levels engulfing Indian world heritage islands

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