October 2018

by Sven-Olof Malmqvist


In Europe, in particular in Scandinavia, we have had the worst drought since I do not know when?

To those who read my last column; I ended up dancing a rain dance and it worked! The rain has finally arrived, just after the harvest of the grain, so we may expect a second cut of grass for the winter fodder, but one cut is lost already. But for the later crops the rain has been a saver.

Personally, having an equine farm with 50 heads, the lack of roughage and pasture made me have to take extreme measures to secure the winter feed by importing dehydrated bales of alfalfa from France, along with importing hay from Latvia. This has never happened to me before.

On the other hand, in the Kerala state in India they got the same amount of rain in 24 hours that we will have in six months in our Eastern part of Sweden. So we need an equalizer sitting on top of the globe, distributing the rainfall fair and square. Unfortunately, it doesn´t work that way!

On the news I heard that the seventh hurricane for the season will reach mainland Japan and it seems to be the worst one so far with 45mph winds.

So what does this extreme weather tell us? That it is happening everywhere and we better take some precautionary measures so we can handle it in the future and fully appreciate that these kind of extremes can occur everywhere, even up in Northern Europe.

We better dig ponds for irrigation, convince the few remaining genetic companies to explore more heat resistance crops to be grown up in the Northern hemisphere and so on.

Another drawback based on yield is that the aid to the more needing countries, such as Africa, can be reduced. Therefore, we better try to explore the local and native crops they have in the region and start developing, improving and growing them in a more systematic way so they can provide their own feed and food and be less dependent on outside aid.

I can see a collaboration between private enterprises like plant genetics, fertilizer companies, grain millers, feed millers, feed companies and non-governmental organisations like The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nations (UN), the New Partnership for Africa"s Development (NEPAD) and financial institutes.

This will lead to improved production of livestock, poultry and aqua for a growing population. The payback will probably be good in the long run.

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