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International Update Volume 46, Issue 25

ERRATIC WEATHER CAUSING RISE IN IRRIGATION IN AFRICA

Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is seeing a surge of interest in irrigation among small-scale farmers as climate change brings more erratic weather and as rising populations in countries from Nigeria to Kenya mean growing demand for a reliable harvest, agriculture and water experts say. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) estimates that more than a million hectares of small farms are now irrigated in the region. In Tanzania, the area of small farms with access to irrigation has risen from just 33,500 hectares in 2010 to about 150,000 today, institute figures show.

AUTOMAKERS ACCUSED OF VIOLATING CHINA'S GREEN CAR SUBSIDY

China

China has accused more than 20 car makers of breaking rules on green car subsidies, according to a state media report, widening a scandal over a $4.5 billion annual payout program. On September 8, China's Ministry of Finance punished at least five companies, accusing them of cheating its program to subsidize electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, thus receiving roughly 1 billion yuan ($150 million U.S.) in illegal subsidies.

SCIENTISTS TO DRILL OFF JAPAN'S COAST TO MAP UNDERGROUND CARBON

Japan

Scientists will start drilling off Japan this month to seek the hottest place where life can survive deep below the seabed. The drilling under the Nankai Trough in the Pacific Ocean will be part of a project by 900 experts to map carbon underground, hoping for clues to everything from the origin of life on earth to the formation of oil and gas. Scientists will drill into rocks where temperatures reach 130°C (266°F) in a two-month trip off southern Japan starting on September 12, said Kai-Uwe Hinrichs, of the University of Bremen in Germany who led the scientific proposal for the mission.