Consider sowing drought-tolerant seed varieties that can withstand drought and other climatic and environmental hazards to ensure food security. That is Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) advise farmers, especially those in the food basket regions.
This is because those varieties of seeds have been specially bred to grow and produce even when rains fail for a period of time.
The GMet says this year’s forecast shows that parts of the middle belt and northern regions were likely to experience early dry spells-days during the first 50 days after the start of the rain season.
Madam Francisca Martey, Deputy Director in charge of Research and Applied Meteorology at Ghana Meteorological Agency gave the advice at a media briefing on the 2023 seasonal rainfall forecast for March to June.
She urged farmers to practice conservation techniques to protect soil water, increase vigilance and prepare adequately to deal with crop pests, including armyworms, to enhance crop growth.
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Madam Martey said the observed atmospheric conditions over land and oceans and outputs from leading World forecast Centers indicate that the country would experience a normal to the late onset of rains, mostly late to the normal cessation of rainfall, with short to normal dry spells during the forecast period.
“Generally, normal to below normal rainfall is forecasted for both March to June over most places in the country, however, some areas in the middle portions of the transition areas of the country will experience a below normal rainfall tendency,” she said.
Madam Martey explained that the coastal areas from Cape Coast in the Central Region through to Aflao in the Volta region might witness rainfall slightly above normal rains, high winds, and lightning, which could lead to flooding.
She urged stakeholders, especially those in the disaster management sector, to establish operationalised integrated monitoring and early warning systems for flood risk.
Mr. Eric Asuman, Director-General of the Ghana Meteorological Agency, said the Agency was well-resourced with the required equipment and counseled the public to utilise the GMet’s periodic weather forecast to plan their activities.
He said the manifestation of the climate crisis had called for the need for the public to pay attention to the daily forecast to adapt to the impacts of the changing weather.
The Director General said the average global temperature had increased and access to reliable weather services was important to plan to facilitate socio-economic growth.
He said the projection was not negative, explaining that the dry spell in the southern belt meant farmers could have access to good rain during the minor season.