FAO warns of heavier rainfall in late 2016/early 2017; releases to-do list for govts
The Food and Agriculture Organization said the La Niña weather phenomenon increases the probability of heavier rainfall in South and Southeast Asia, especially during the end of 2016 and the start of 2017.
While the higher rainfall could benefit crops in the main 2016 cropping season in the Northern hemisphere and the secondary crops in the Southern hemisphere and provide relief to areas badly hit by the drought, the FAO said excessive rains increase the risk of flooding in low-lying agricultural areas, damage standing crops, increase pest and diseases, as well as heighten the potential for landslides.
To minimize losses, the FAO advised governments to undertake the following actions:
· Teach and equip farmers on seed drying methods and storage
· Check dams in flood-prone areas, repair and support riverbanks, and establish community seed stores in July/August
· Strengthen agricultural extension services and prepare advice on adjustments on fertilizer and fungicide application or early harvest
· Provide flood tolerant rice varieties
· And, intensify surveillance and monitoring of vector-borne diseases beginning September