Statement from Climate Change and Disaster Management – Department: Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries 2014

DAFFAlthough rain was above normal in December many summer rainfall areas remain dry with drought persisting in others. On the other hand the seasonal forecast does not favour above or below normal rainfall. In this instance, farmers are advised to plan their activities in accordance with  weather  conditions  usually associated  with  that  particular  period/season  in  their  areas. Farmers are also advised to continue to conserve water and other resources in accordance with the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (No. 43 of 1983). Severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and hail, localized flooding as well as heat waves have occurred and are likely to re-occur occasionally; therefore measures to combat these should be in place.  Preventative measures for conditions conducive to veld fires need to remain in place in winter rainfall areas i.e. creation/maintenance of firebreaks. Precautionary measures should also be maintained for pests and diseases and regularly scout for these.

The  users  are  urged  to  continuously  monitor,  evaluate,  report  and  attend  to  current Disaster  Risk  issues.  It  is  very important  and  mandatory for  farming  communities  to always implement disaster risk measures and maintain good farming practices.

The climate advisory should be disseminated widely. Users are advised to be on the look-out and act on the extreme daily warnings as well as the advisory update next month. Information sharing groups are encouraged especially among farming communities for sustainable development. It is the responsibility of farmers to implement disaster risk measures.

The Disaster Management Act (Act No. 57 of 2002) urges Provinces, individuals and farmers, to assess and prevent or reduce the risk of disasters using early warning information.

The current advisory can be accessed from the following websites:www.daff.gov.za and www.agis.agric.za

For the full report issued by the National Agro-meteorological Committee (NAC) Advisory on the 2013/14 summer season, click here.

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