Positive rain expected for SADC regions
The bulk of Southern African Development Community (SADC) is likely to receive
normal to above-normal rainfall for most of the period of October to December 2016.
The bulk of Southern African Development Community (SADC) is likely to receive normal to above-normal rainfall for most of the period from October to December according to the regional early warning report for Southern African issued this week.
According to the SADC Climate Services Centre (CSC), most of the region is expected to receive normal to above normal rainfall for the bulk of central and southern part of the region and normal to below over the northern parts of the region.
The 2015/16 seasonal rainfall forecast proposes the use of early maturing, drought tolerant crop varieties, and the de-stocking of livestock. Most Member States down-scaled the
regional forecast to national level forecasts, which were useful for planning and operations.
In some countries specific cases like Namibia, the reports predicts a good opportunity to maximize agricultural production, particularly for areas that normally receive good rainfall.
The climate scientists took into account oceanic and atmospheric factors that influence our climate over SADC region to generate the outlook for 2016/17 rainy season.
In order for end-users to be able to take full advantage of the forecast normal rains to
above normal conditions, all suppliers and agencies involved in the production and distribution of inputs such as seeds and fertilizer need to ensure that these become available to farmers on time, well before the onset of rains.
However still, farmers and supporting agencies should be prepared for incidences of pests and diseases for both crops and livestock. This is especially relevant in areas where specific pests/diseases tend to occur under conditions of high rainfall. In those areas where normal to above-normal rainfall is expected, and where high rainfall typically prevails.
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) which is foreseen to be shifting from the warm, through neutral to likely cold phase, also referred to as La Niña is expected during the bulk of the rainfall season. “However, users should be cautioned that there are still three probabilities for normal, below or above rainfall and contingencies should be taken for the less likely outcomes.”
From a crop production perspective, farmers can comprehensively utilize the forecast by
committing a larger portion of their crop land to medium to late maturing, high performance varieties. However it is advised that some percentage of the crop land should also be put to early maturing, and drought-tolerant crops and varieties.
The report is in favour of the agricultural sector as outlook represents a good opportunity to maximize
agricultural production, particularly for areas that normally receive good rainfall, and where the forecast is for normal with a bias towards above normal rainfall.
Water and Energy sectors are foreseen to expect to normal river flows, prioritizing to filling up the low reservoirs, planning to undertake a simulation for water allocations guideline, to develop the management scenario and continue with importation of power and to expedite the completion of internal power projects.
The key recommendation is that planning for extreme events is an essential way forward for all SADC Member States to mitigate and adapt to the threatening of the adverse effects of climate variability.