Like in most parts of the country, Ngamiland is forecast to receive normal to above normal rainfall this ploughing season, and farmers could not be happier as they anticipate higher crop yields.
Maun Department of Meteorological Services Principal Technical Officer, Kadisa Montshojang has revealed that normal to above normal rainfall is forecast for Ngamiland from the month of October to December and above normal rainfall from January to March next year.
He stated that this is based on the fact that the La Niña weather event in the Pacific Ocean, and persisting in Southern Africa is associated with increased rainfall in many regions including Botswana.
Tsau Agricultural Scientific Officer, Harry Finegan, noted that the normal to above- normal rainfall forecast throughout the farming season would lead to a good agricultural season especially for arable farming. He stated that in the previous season farmers in the region did not yield much.
Finegan has since advised farmers to sow cereals like sorghum, millets and maize as early as now because they can survive at cooler soil temperatures or wet conditions as compared to other crops. He also encouraged them to plant legumes late since the rainy season has just begun.
Chairman of North West Integrated Farmers Association (NWIFA), Mod Masedi is adamant they will utilise the forecast rainfall to plant the right crops that will adapt to the forecast weather condition.
One of the farmers in Boro also reiterated that last year was not a good agricultural season as they did not receive the much anticipated rain lamenting that some of his crops ended up being scotched by sun heat. He said that this year he intends to plant some of the recommended crops by the agricultural scientists. The farmer indicated that in most cases he survives by selling watermelons, peanuts and beans in Maun therefore the forecast above normal rainfall will benefit him a lot.
Meanwhile, in a statement read at the end of the 26th annual Southern Africa Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF 26) workshop that was held virtually from the 24th – 26th August 2022 convened by the SADC Secretariat, through the SADC Climate Services Centre (CSC), the experts predicted that the bulk of the region is likely to receive good rainfall during the next agricultural season.