Greenland Agriculture vegetables

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Greenland - Strawberries on Ice
When climate changing turns out to be good
Photos: Giancarlo Radice
With 80% of its land buried under an ice cap up to 3,000 meters deep, Greenland has lately become a very symbolic place in the map of climate change on our planet. Over the past ten years the temperature has risen twice as fast as the global average. This immense island situated in the Northern Atlantic ocean, four times as big as France, now loses, each summer, more than 200 cubic kilometers of ice; about twice the size of all the glaciers in the Alps at present time. But global warming hasn’t just negative effects. The milder climate in fact is determining the development of an unexpected agriculture in this peculiar Arctic environment. The 50 farms settled in the country are lately experiencing very positive side effects on their crops, such as the amount of forage for animals that now doubles every year. But that’s not all. Especially along the south-western coast, a new generation of farmers have started growing vegetables and fruits usually seen only in very different latitudes. Between the towns of Qaqortoq and Narsaq for example, an area that is now named Sineriak Banaane Qarfik, "the coast of the bananas," farmers are growing potatoes, onions, lettuce, cabbage, rhubarb, tomatoes and even strawberries. The local products in supermarkets are gaining a little space on the shelves amongst all the imported supplies coming from Northern Europe, and even if the production is still a small reality, it is meaningful enough to make an impact on the daily lives of a small population of just 57,000 inhabitants, mostly fishermen and hunters, accustomed mainly to meat and fish. This new trend is giving also a little boost to the very basic local economy of a country which is still overly dependent on subsidies from Copenhagen and a stream of annual Danish funding that represents more than a third of the entire national GDP.
Greenland Agriculture vegetables
International photojournalism