Brazil's Agriculture Ministry has issued an emergency warning for a drought that could last from June to September 2021. According to the authorities, the central and southern regions of the country, as well as the Parana River basin, are at risk.
Brazil is now experiencing the worst drought in 91 years: the rainy season has already ended, and precipitation has fallen significantly less than normal. The lack of rain in much of the country has a negative impact on grain cultivation, livestock production, and electricity production, and Brazil relies heavily on hydroelectric power as a source of energy. The government is already considering the option of introducing electricity rationing.
Drier-than-usual weather has already hurt sugar and coffee production in Brazil, the world's largest supplier of these products, leading to higher futures prices for these goods. As reported by Reuters, coffee prices last week reached the highest in the last 4.5 years: traders are concerned that the drought could affect the harvest in 2022.
Scientists said the dry weather could lead to serious fires in the Amazon rainforest and the Pantanal wetlands. The Amazon Forest is the largest rainforest in the world, and the Pantanal is the largest wetland. Environmentalists believe that their conservation is vital to contain catastrophic climate change due to the huge amount of greenhouse gases they absorb.