Heavy rainfall expected until February; farmers encouraged to take precautions
See below the full press release issued by the Ministry of Agriculture:
There’s a high chance for wetter than usual (above-normal) conditions across all Administrative Regions for the period December, 2021 to January, 2022 and possibly into early February 2022. Regions 8, 9, 10 and Southern Region will experience the least amounts of rainfall during this period.
Rainfall amounts and frequency are expected to increase as the season progresses. The above normal rainfall outlook this season is being driven by the strong likelihood of a La Nina (85% confidence) phase continuing through the first quarter of 2022.
As the season progresses, water levels in conservancies, reservoirs and inland rivers in Regions 1 to 6 (north), 7 and 10 are expected reach maximum capacity. Flooding in Regions 1 to 5, 7, 10, northern 6 and 8 as a result of persistent rain is of concern during the forecast period; therefore, drainage intervention is highly recommended where and when possible.
Temperatures will be cool as usual for this time of year with slight chance for cooler conditions expected in Regions 3, 4, and 9, while other areas can expect warmer than usual conditions. Warmer than usual day-time temperatures can be expected in the northern Regions, while Region 9 can expect cool as usual conditions.
Given the forecasted weather conditions, farmers are advised to take all precautions to secure their crops and livestock. Shade houses and appropriate containers is recommended to cultivate vegetable crops; mound agriculture is recommended for root crops to avoid root rot; plantation crops such as plantains and bananas should be stabilized using poles where possible; and livestock farmers are advised to build berms to keep cattle away from flooded conditions while identifying shrubs, rice straw where available, and other GLDA recommended available greenery, with which to feed livestock if grass becomes scarce.
Food processing techniques such as pickling, drying of fruits, dicing, packaging and freezing of vegetables and fruits can be applied to extend shelf life and avoid wastage of farm produce.
The extension staff of NAREI, GLDA, NDIA, PTCCB, GRDB, the Fisheries Department, the MMA-ADA, and the New GMC remain available to provide advice using social media, rural radio, and TV programmes. The cooperation of all will be required in order to minimize loss, ensure food availability, and security of livelihoods.
The above-average rainfall is expected to recharge reservoirs, conservancies and aquifers, limiting local concerns of drought in northern Guyana. Water accumulation in poor drainage area is expected; this can lead to localized flooding, an upsurge in mosquito breeding and other moisture related pests.
Additionally, farmers are advised to keep their drains clear in order to prevent flooding on farms, especially those located in flood-prone areas. Further, special attention should be paid to short-range forecasts provided by the Hydrometeorological Service in order to plan daily farm activities such as fertilizers and pesticides applications. Consideration should also be given to planting crops that are water tolerant during the forecast period.
The Hydrometeorological Service will provide updates to its seasonal forecast as new information becomes available. For short range forecasts and weather analyses, stakeholders are advised to follow the Daily Weather Briefs,
Outlooks and Advisories produced by the National Weather Watch Centre or visit www.hydromet.gov.gy. The forecast desk can be reached at 261-2284/261-2216.