Drought affects more than 20 million hectares of Chinese farmland each year and devours ten billion kilograms of grain, according to a meteorological official.
"Drought has become a major obstacle to agricultural development in northern China where water is especially scarce," said Wang Shourong, deputy director of the China Meteorological Administration on Wednesday.
Wang said sixty percent of the territory hit by meteorological disasters each year -- hurricane, floods and drought -- are in fact drought-stricken areas.
Many provinces in China have been hit by the worst drought in decades this summer and autumn. The searing weather left millions of people and livestock short of drinking water.
(Xinhua News Agency December 8, 2006)