The Ministry of Agriculture disclosed on Wednesday that there is 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.
Guyana Standard understands that Regions 8, 9, 10, and the Southern Region will experience the least amount of rainfall during this period. The Agriculture Ministry was keen to note however that water levels in conservancies, reservoirs, and inland rivers in Regions 1 to 6 (north), 7 and 10 are expected to reach maximum capacity. It said too that 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 will be highly recommended where and when possible.
The ministry said 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.
Given the forecast, the ministry said farmers are advised to take all precautions to secure their crops and livestock. It said shade houses and appropriate containers are recommended to cultivate vegetable crops while mound agriculture is recommended for root crops to avoid root rot. The ministry said too that plantation crops such as plantains and bananas should be stabilized using poles where possible while livestock farmers are advised to build berms to keep cattle away from flooded conditions. It reminded that 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 ministry further noted that its extension staff remains available to provide advice using social media, rural radio, and TV programmes. It warned that the cooperation of all will be required in order to minimize loss, ensure food availability, and security of livelihoods.
Guyana Standard understands that 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.