Australian drought prompts food crisis fears

Record low inflows into the river system in Australia's main food bowl, the Murray-Darling basin, suggest a gloomy future for the country's farmers. A recent set of climate predictions read "more like a disaster novel than a scientific report", the country's agriculture minister was quoted as saying.

Neil Plummer, from the country’s National Climate Centre, described rainfall during the southern hemisphere autumn as "an absolute shocker", the Independent reported. 

The basin produces 41% of Australia’s fruit, vegetables and grain. But flows of water last month into the two rivers that irrigate the basin were the lowest since records began 117 years ago. 

Australia’s worst drought in a century has forced about 10,000 farming families off the land, the report said, and threatened the economic viability of some agricultural towns.

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