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Drought affects 3.58 mln hectares of farmland


10:59, May 11, 2013

BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhua) -- A drought scorching China's western and central regions has affected 3.58 million hectares of farmland as of Friday, drought relief authorities said Friday.

Affected land used to grow crops totaled 2.13 million hectares, lower than the average acreage of 6.3 million hectares over the past few years, according to a statement from the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

The drought has significantly eased in Chongqing Municipality and the provinces of Guizhou, Hubei, Yunnan and Sichuan, but farmland in other regions, such as Gansu and Ningxia, is still suffering from insufficient rain, the statement said.

The drought has also left 5.54 million people and 3.99 million livestock short of drinking water, the statement said.

Local authorities have mobilized their resources to minimize the drought's effects on farming and people's lives, the statement said.

The government has allocated 7.9 billion yuan (1.27 billion U.S. dollars) to fight droughts, prevent pests, cultivate new seedlings and subsidize farmers in a bid to support ploughing in April, according to the Ministry of Finance.

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