Sum­mer agri­cul­ture sea­son weather forecast due for re­lease

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Busi­ness Re­porter

THE Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ser­vices Depart­ment (MSD) will this month is­sue the 2016-2017 sum­mer agri­cul­tural sea­son weather forecast, which will guide prepa­ra­tions for crop­ping by farm­ers, an of­fi­cial has said.

MSD di­rec­tor Dr Amos Maka­rau said: “The 2016-2017 Sadc and Zim­babwe sum­mer agri­cul­ture sea­son will be is­sued by 30 Au­gust 2016”.

He, how­ever, said prob­a­bilis­tic fore­casts in­di­cate “very low like­li­hood of El Nino” this com­ing sea­son with 44 per­cent of nor­mal rain­fall ex­pected un­til De­cem­ber 2016.

Dr Maka­rau told in­dus­try cap­tains at the just ended Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries (CZI) congress in

The re­gional eco­nomic bloc com­prises 15 coun­tries: An­gola, Botswana, Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo, Le­sotho, Mada­gas­car, Malawi, Mau­ri­tius, Mozam­bique, Namibia, Sey­chelles, South Africa, Swazi­land, Tan­za­nia, Zam­bia and Zim­babwe. Bu­l­awayo that the changes in cli­mate were real hence proac­tive mea­sures need to be taken. “In view of the rapidly chang­ing cli­mate, CZI should now main­stream weather and cli­mate into op­er­a­tional and de­vel­op­ment plan (cli­mate fac­tor­ing pol­icy),” he said. Agri­cul­tural ex­perts have urged in­creased in­vest­ment in ir­ri­ga­tion in­fra­struc­ture as a long term strat­egy to achieve food se­cu­rity. Zim­babwe has not been spared from the rav­ages of cli­mate change, which has re­sulted in the tra­di­tional rain­fall sea­son shift­ing. In Fe­bru­ary, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe de­clared the

The El Nino weather pat­tern has put a strain on the African con­ti­nent and im­pacted 2015-16 agri­cul­tural sea­son a na­tional dis­as­ter due to the dire ef­fects of the El Nino weather phe­nom­e­non that has seen the coun­try re­ceiv­ing nor­mal to be­low nor­mal rain­fall.

Some 3,3 mil­lion peo­ple are said to be in need of food aid and the Gov­ern­ment is step­ping up ef­forts in food mo­bil­i­sa­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion in­ter­ven­tions to mit­i­gate the ad­verts ef­fects of drought.

The prob­lem with Zim­babwe’s cli­mate is that about 90 per­cent of agri­cul­ture is rain-fed and once the coun­try gets less rain­fall in Novem­ber, it means that the plant­ing dates will vary.

Fol­low­ing ex­ten­sive re­search, weather ex­perts are propos­ing that ir­ri­ga­tion be­comes the coun­try’s cen­tral fo­cus.

The Gov­ern­ment is in the process of de­vel­op­ing a cli­mate change pol­icy, which seeks to make sure that ev­ery sec­tor takes cli­mate on board.

neg­a­tively on house­holds. El Nino is a cli­mate phe­nom­e­non which re­sults in the warm­ing of sea-sur­face tem­per­a­tures in the Pa­cific Ocean and oc­curs ev­ery three to seven years, with con­se­quences felt all over the world. This is of­ten fol­lowed by an opposite weather cy­cle, known as La Nina, bring­ing be­low-av­er­age sea

Botswana Pres­i­dent Seretse Khama Ian Khama

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