Source Article published on October 5, 2023
The North and East regions grapple with a dry season that threatens Sugarcane and Vegetable Crops due to a persistent lack of rain. Here is what you need to know.
Facing Dry Season Challenges: Threats to Sugarcane and Vegetable Crops
The North and East regions of the island grapple with significant dry season challenges. Insufficient rainfall concerns farmers. They fear a situation like the previous year, threatening vegetable, fruit, and sugarcane crops.
Sugarcane Under Pressure: Heat and Rainfall Shortages
Salil Roy, President of the Planters’ Reform Association, urgently reports that persistent heat and rain scarcity severely affect sugarcane growth. This impacts the Northern and Eastern parts of the island. It’s crucial to secure water quickly for irrigating vegetables and sugarcane, threatened by ongoing rainfall shortage.
Long-Term Water Management Required to Mitigate crop impact
In the face of the ongoing drought and the increasing threat to sugarcane and vegetable crops, efficient water extraction and distribution facilities are direly needed to combat the longstanding issue of water loss. The current situation underscores the necessity for long-term perspectives and proactive measures to alleviate the severe consequences of water scarcity on crop health and yield.
Regional Disparities in Crop Impact: Northern Region Bears the Brunt
Soorajen Manikon, Secretary of the Independent Planters Association, emphasizes that the Northern region is particularly hard-hit by the drought, facing major issues. However, the severity of the problem varies from region to region. While the South is relatively less affected than the North and East, the pricing of vegetables remains intricately tied to the planting region, creating financial concerns among farmers.
Concerns Extend Beyond Crops to Harvest and Fire Risks
While some sugarcane farmers completed harvest, new sugarcane growth and vegetable crop irrigation depend on much-needed rain. Unfortunately, the availability of water for irrigation is dwindling, intensifying apprehension among vegetable farmers. The maturity of sugarcane is of paramount importance for the harvest, and the scarcity of water poses a significant threat to it. Some fear extreme sugarcane fire risks.
Regulatory Measures and Future Planning to Alleviate Water Scarcity Issues
The Central Water Authority reaffirms that all regulations implemented since the previous year to prevent water misuse remain in effect. Their vigilant monitoring extends to the island’s six distinct zones, each marked by unique characteristics. Regional officials are actively assessing the current situation and earnestly preparing an action plan to effectively address the pressing concerns arising from water scarcity, providing assurance to consumers that steps are being taken to safeguard the agricultural and economic stability of the region.