SAMMU KHAN BHANBRO, PAKISTAN: Pakistani farmers are still counting losses from devastating floods that submerged a third of the country, but the long-term effects are already clear. “We went back 50 years to him,” said Sindh farmer Ashraf Ali Bambro. This farm had 2,500 acres of cotton and sugar cane near harvest, but has now been cleared.

More than 33 million people have been affected by flooding caused by record monsoon rains, with one of the worst affected areas being Sindh province in southern Pakistan. The state is bisected by the mighty Indus River, along whose banks agriculture flourished for thousands of years, with records of irrigation systems dating back to 4,000 BC. There are two problems with Sind. The state has been locally drenched by record rains, but the Indus is already at full flow, swollen by its northern tributaries, and dykes have breached in several places, allowing it to drain. No place.

“At one stage, it rained for 72 hours,” said Bambro, adding that they lost at least 270 crore rupees ($1.2 million) in input alone. “This is the cost of fertilizer and pesticides. It doesn’t include the profit. We had a good harvest so the profit could have been much higher.”

Without the ability to drain flooded fields, farmers like Bambro will not be able to plant winter wheat, which is vital to the country’s food security. “We have a month. If no water is drained in that period, there is no wheat,” he said at his farm in Sammu Khan village, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Sukkur. Told. After years of self-sufficiency in wheat, Pakistan has recently turned to imports to fill its silos as part of its strategic reserves.

Karachi, Pakistan: Volunteers from the charity Alkydmat Foundation load a truck with relief bags for people affected by the floods in Karachi on September 3, 2022. – AFP

Pakistan owes billions of dollars

Islamabad, as has been argued, can hardly afford imports, even with discounted grain purchases from Russia. The country owes billions of dollars to foreign creditors and last week persuaded the International Monetary Fund to pay off its foreign debt rather than pay the estimated $10 billion flood damage bill. I was able to resume fundraising, which I couldn’t even do.

Driving on the overpass from Sukkur to Sammu Khan offers a stunning view of flood devastation. In some places there is water as far as the eye can see. Where cotton crops are seen in flooded fields, the leaves turn brown and the fences are barely visible. “Forget about cotton,” said Latif Dinno, a farmer in Saleh Pat, 30 kilometers northeast of Sukkur.

Large landowners are likely to survive the floods, but tens of thousands of farm workers face terrible hardships. They supplement their income by growing food on small plots of land. They are also submerged, with tens of thousands of people fleeing their flooded homes and seeking refuge on higher ground. “There’s nothing left to choose from,” said Saeed Baroque, who works and pools his income each season with members of his extended family. Farmers aren’t the only ones affected, every link in his chain of supply is feeling the strain.

“We are doomed,” said Waseem Ahmed, a cotton trader in Saarepat. Like many in the industry, he fixed the purchase price and made advance payments to guard against inflation and market volatility. “We only harvested 35 mounds (about 8,000 kilograms, 18,000 pounds) versus an expected 200 mounds,” he said, adding that he had shelved plans to expand the business. At a small collectible store in Sindh’s usually bustling cotton market, two boys were poking halfway through a pile of damp cotton, checking to see if there was anything they could salvage.

“Markets are closed, ginning factories are closed,” trader Ahmed said, pointing to a row of closed shops. would like the intervention of “We honor Allah. He is the ultimate Savior,” he said. – AFP

Source link

Previous articleActress Jane Fonda says she has cancer
Next articleAM Best Place LIA Rating Under Review