The East African Community (EAC) on Friday urged its member states to take appropriate steps to ensure maximum benefit from farming as the region is expected to receive normal rains over the next few months after almost two years of persistent drought in some EAC areas.
This came after predictions by the Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC) of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development of normal rains over east Africa from March to May.
The period constitutes an important rainfall season, particularly in the equatorial parts of the region where it contributes up to 70 percent of the total annual rainfall, according to the ICPAC.
“The rainfall is good for crop and livestock farming if it is not excessive,” the EAC said in a statement issued at its headquarters in Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha.
“This is good news for the region, though the situation might differ from country to country,” said Christophe Bazivamo, the EAC’s deputy secretary general for productive and social sectors.
“Expert guidance is important so that farmers are not over optimistic in case the rains end earlier than usual, but also that the opportunity is not lost,” he said.
According to the statement, the EAC also urged farmers to plant enough food crops and livestock keepers to plant pastures which can be harvested and stored for feeding of livestock during the dry season.
The EAC also encouraged member states of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda to invest more in irrigation and adopt technologies for water harvesting and storage to increase crop production and productivity during the dry season. Enditem