NATION

Prepare Well For Disasters, Farmers Urged

The Ministry of Agriculture is urging farmers to be more proactive in setting up disaster sustainability measures to avoid financial problems. Principal agriculture officer West Vinesh Kumar said farmers needed
04 Apr 2015 12:11
Prepare Well For Disasters, Farmers Urged
Principal agriculture officer West Vinesh Kumar. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The Ministry of Agriculture is urging farmers to be more proactive in setting up disaster sustainability measures to avoid financial problems.

Principal agriculture officer West Vinesh Kumar said farmers needed to access all avenues to prepare efficiently against natural disasters.

“The issue of disaster sustainability is often shelved until it is too late and disasters don’t always occur when we expect it. Sometimes they strike when farmers are least prepared,” Mr Kumar said.

“There are numerous methods by which farmers can stock.

“We have to provide more awareness.”

He said there were plans in place to help farmers in the aftermath of a disaster.

“At present there are food banks in Yasawa and they are part of our food security mechanisms.

“We are advising farmers based in disaster-prone areas to set up small nurseries and to familiarise themselves with livestock breeding programmes since a lot of young livestock are affected during stress periods,” Mr Kumar said.

He said livestock farmers needed to take into consideration how to plant vegetation that would cater for feeding purposes during natural disasters.

This includes storing feed and mineral block making whereby farmers make and store livestock feed to use.

Climate change has brought about a need for farmers to adapt new farming strategies.

“We are trying to locate hot spots where we can tap into to deal with communities who are directly affected. It is time we think outside the box whether we provide an exchange scheme for seedlings,” he said.

Mr Kumar said the last drought recorded a decrease in 2000 litres of milk production because of lack of proper feeding pastures for livestock.

He said phase two of the ministry’s target areas was to zone in on the nutritional side of food sustainability apart from the present established nurseries.

saloteq@fijisun.com.fj

 



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Subscribe-to-Newspaper