Friday, August 12, 2011

Zimbabwe's farmers urged to take climate change into account via the Herald (Zimbabwe): A climate expert has urged farmers to appreciate weather changes taking place in their areas and use the information when planning their agricultural activities. In an interview in Harare recently, Coping With Drought and Climate Change project manager, Dr Leonard Unganai, said his organisation had established weather monitoring stations in four different wards in Chiredzi District to help farmers appreciate the relationship between climate and agricultural productivity.

"The weather monitoring stations give the farmers information on rainfall, temperatures and even evaporation. There is a very high demand for the stations to include information on wind speed and direction as well," Dr Unganai explained.

Dr Unganai said the weather stations had made it possible for farmers to use accurate information on rainfall expected in a season and this had also influenced the types of crops and varieties they settled for. "Agritex officials man the weather stations and are currently exploring ways of getting the farmers to read and understand the information on their own.

"Farmers must be able to use information on weather forecast products in managing cropping and livestock activities," he commented. Chiredzi lies in natural region five and is extremely vulnerable to the impact of climate variability and changes hence the need to explore other ways of earning a livelihood other than conventional agriculture, added Dr Unganai...

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