The fight against drought

Business Spotlight - - CONTENTS -

Aus­tralia is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing one of the worst droughts in nearly a cen­tury. The en­tire state of New South Wales (NSW) — which has the high­est pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try — has been af­fected by the lack of rain.

Arid con­di­tions mean that grass is no longer grow­ing nor­mally. As a re­sult, some farm­ers are chop­ping branches off trees to feed their live­stock. Cat­tle and sheep are dan­ger­ously un­der­weight and many are be­ing slaugh­tered be­cause their own­ers can­not feed and wa­ter them.

The NSW state gov­ern­ment has re­sponded with A$ 500 mil­lion (€317 mil­lion) in aid, in­clud­ing fund­ing for men­tal health pro­grammes. But crit­ics say it’s not enough. “Farm­ers are past the point of sub­si­dies and loans,” cat­tle farmer Rob Aitken told The New York Times. In this Reuters photo, farmer Ash Whitney throws hay to cat­tle from the back of his truck.

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