Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Drought drives Middle Eastern pepper farmers out of business, threatens prized heirloom chiles

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU
 
depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 04:40 AM
Original message
Drought drives Middle Eastern pepper farmers out of business, threatens prized heirloom chiles
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 04:41 AM by depakid
Most Turks live on the waters edge in the far western reaches of their vast country. But many of the spices that perfume the air in Turkeys famous urban bazaars come from the nations southeastern farming areas of Sanliurfa and Kahramanmaras. In fact, spices from this region rank among the most highly prized condiments and herbs you can find in any spice emporium anywhere.

As I wandered through the Misir Carsisi Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, and the Kemeralti Bazaar at the western terminus of the Silk Road in Izmir, I could see the chile powders, pastes and dried fruits from Sanliurfa and Kahramanmaras proudly and prominently displayed.

Urfa and Maras peppers from Turkey have the same international fame that Aleppo (Halaby) peppers do from Syria, Tabascos do from Louisiana, or Habaneros do from the Yucatan. But their prices are soaring and supplies are becoming scarcenot merely because of international demand, but because of drought and agricultural water scarcity triggered by global climate change.

The same climate-driven pressures are affecting the survival of the Halaby pepper and its traditional farmers near Aleppo, Syria. In the past three years, 160 Syrian farming villages have been abandoned near Aleppo as crop failures have forced over 200,000 rural Syrians to leave for the cities. This news is distressing enough, but when put into a long-term perspective, its implications are staggering: many of these villages have been continuously farmed for 8000 years. As one expert puts it, this may be the worst long-term drought and most severe set of crop failures since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent many millennia ago.

The thousands of tourists and residents who purchase Urfa and Maras chiles in Istanbuls Spice Bazaar may not yet realize it, but their access to these world class spices is being disrupted by climate change. Since 2007, rains in some forty Turkish provinces, northern Syria and eastern Iraq have been 30 percent to 40 percent of their normal levels. The drought in southeastern Anatolia has reduced harvests by 80 percent. In Syria, 60 percent of the agricultural lands have been affected by these droughts.

In Iraq, 2 million rural residents have been left without water. Many irrigation canals remain dry, as the only water reaching rivers like the Euphrates is being usurped by cities upstream. Downstream on the Tigris-Euphrates delta, saltwater intrusion is making domestic water unpotable. Between the three countries, perhaps five million people have been directly affected.

More: http://www.grist.org/article/2010-01-15-drought-drives-...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. Peppers are sensitive plants
We had a lot of rain in Maryland last year, and our bell peppers were moldy inside.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Apr 16th 2014, 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC