NATION

Disaster Planning Workshop For Agriculture Officers

Government is continuing its preparedness against natural disaster. The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and National Disaster Management, this week in Lautoka, conducted an awareness workshop for disaster management and
28 Mar 2015 08:31
Disaster Planning Workshop For Agriculture Officers
Participants during the workshop at the Commissioner Western office in Lautoka yesterday. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Government is continuing its preparedness against natural disaster.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and National Disaster Management, this week in Lautoka, conducted an awareness workshop for disaster management and climate change adaption for agriculture station officers.

They were briefed on Standard Operation Procedures (SOP).

Principal agriculture officer Vinesh Kumar said major issues discussed were the stages during and after disasters, developing strategies that will be implemented in each district level and reviving the feedback channel with staff members working on the field.

“A disaster could be flooding, drought or even a fire for the agricultural sector. Our main issue is pest infection, health of livestock and food security,” Mr Kumar said.

“This training is one way of addressing these issues. It is important that we develop a plan that covers all disasters in terms of appropriate measures to be taken to save farmers’ crops and livestock.”

He said an integrated approach was being taken inorder to implement a solid network between farmers and stakeholders from the ministry.

“We are working with our research division and they are introducing varieties of crops like Kumala (sweet yam) in the Western Division. We have had trials in Ba and Nadi on a research level and then we will disseminate that information to the farmers,” he said.

Workshop participants were from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Research Division, Animal Health and Reproduction Division, Land Resource Planning and Development Unit and Land and Water Management Division.

“The Western Division is a disaster-prone area, so it is crucial that we come up with realistic solutions and we have been doing a vulnerability assessment to see which communities are affected.”

Meanwhile, the ministry has advised farmers to plant legumes that can be used during drought and stress periods and are of better quality for livestock because of its high protein level.

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