Ethiopian herders, farmers fight extreme climate with weather forecasts

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FILE PHOTO: Drought

Prolonged drought and erratic rainfall across Ethiopia have hit harvests and livestock, eating into farmers’ and herders’ income and meals, experts say.

In the second half of 2017, at least 8.5 million Ethiopians needed urgent food aid, up from 5.6 million in January, according to an August report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Armed with a spear and undeterred by the intense sunlight, Tarekegn Kareto meticulously plucks weeds in his maize field in Argoba village, in southern Ethiopia.

“With both dry weather and unusually heavy rains hitting us in the past year, I’ve lost over half of my harvest of maize and sorghum,” Kareto said, pausing to wipe sweat off his forehead.

“That means I’ve had to dip into my crop reserves – which I can no longer sell for extra income – or even rely on neighbours’ charity for food,” he…

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