‘Everything is gone.’ Flooding in China ruins farmers and risks rising food prices

‘Everything is gone.’ Flooding in China ruins farmers and risks rising food prices

By this time of year, the rice growing onBao Wentao’s family farm should have been ready to harvest.

Instead, heavy flooding has engulfed huge swathes of southern China, includingmore than 36 acres of rice fields that 19-year-old Bao and his father tend to in their village near Poyang Lake.

“The crops have completely failed,” Bao told CNN Business in an interview over the social media app WeChat, adding that his family has already lost roughly 200,000 yuan ($28,000) worth of produce. “The rice was nearly ripened and ready to harvest before the flooding. But now everything is gone.

“Surging floodwater burst the banks of Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province last month, destroying thousands of acres of farmland in what’s known as the “land of fish and rice.” The broader Yangtze River basin — which includes Poyang Lake and stretches more than 3,900 miles from Shanghai in the east to the Tibetan border in the west — accounts for 70% of the country’s rice production.