DROUGHT THREAT LOOMING OVER ESWATINI

DROUGHT THREAT LOOMING OVER ESWATINI

EZULWINI– Farmers are advised to heed the call to utilize early rains and grow a variety of crops that take a maximum of three months to mature. This is because a severe drought is expected to occur in December.
The Director at the Ministry of Agriculture Moses Mavuso raised an alarm, adding, “We are approaching a very difficult situation, of the rainfall, farmers need to understand climate change.” He revealed that it is important that farmers choose the right variety to increase their crop yields and reduce the chances of crop failure. He announced during the official release of seasonal forecast to stakeholders that other strategies that could help farmers are measures to strengthen capacity for dissemination of research technologies to farmers. Other pre-disaster activities phases for farmers discussed include practicing minimum tillage, water harvest, keep in stock animal feed from previous season and sell livestock in preparation for the drought. Stakeholders from health, natural resources and education, were also given a chance to discuss their predisaster activity phases. Furthermore, health experts revealed that they will ensure that there are adequate drugs in stock in the event, a drought-related disease occurs. Experts also promised to continue ensuring that Emaswati have access to the right drugs during the right season. It was also revealed that the Ministry of Health has a well-developed Emergency Preparedness and Response System with dedicated staff responsible for providing leadership and coordination on health emergencies. “Farmers should consider keeping animals such as rabbits, goats and chickens since they consume less water compared to cattle”, Mavuso advised. He also urged farmers to consult veterinary services who can advise
on how to manage cattle during a drought season.” Farmers should consider keeping a minimum number of cattle that can be manageable”, he went on to say.

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