By HELEN HOLLEMAN
The short answer is everything!
Severe drought in China has impacted grain harvests, mainly in Sichuan province in the south of the country.
Already a significant importer of corn, wheat, and rice since 2020, China’s imports of these crops have increased in recent years as cities have expanded and agricultural land has shrunk. China is also a major importer of sugar, coffee, and other agricultural products.
The shortages created by the war in Ukraine have been compounded by drought in many countries, not only in China. We can expect competition for supplies of grain, sunflower oil, sugar, and other products to intensify. Increased demand will drive prices up, and South Africans will feel the pain.
It’s spring – so alleviate the pain by digging up a patch of earth and planting beans, cabbage, carrots,
spinach, squash, mealies, and kale. Rescue vegetable peelings, grass cuttings, and any plant matter for a
compost heap; rescue old tyres out of the river for seedbeds; use discarded two-litre bottles to grow
seedlings in and to create a self-watering irrigation system. You can do much to help
yourself through these challenging times.
The earth is waiting for your action!
The photos are of the food gardens of Lindiswa Witpens in Papamani, Mzukisi and Linda May in Extension 6, and Lulama Maseti.