SUNBIZ

Agriculture West Farmers Urged to Practice Rain Harvesting

Farmers in the Western Division have been encouraged to practice rain harvesting given the recent rain in the West following the end of a prolonged dry spell. Rainwater harvesting is
13 Jan 2016 12:34
Agriculture West Farmers Urged to Practice Rain Harvesting
A simple rainwater harvesting diagram.

Farmers in the Western Division have been encouraged to practice rain harvesting given the recent rain in the West following the end of a prolonged dry spell.

Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation and deposition of rainwater for reuse on-site, rather than allowing it to run off.

Principal Agriculture officer West, Vinesh Kumar, stressed despite the rain, they were not out of the woods yet since the ground was still hard and rainfall had not fully penetrated the soil.

Nevertheless, he said the current weather had brought about an improvement in the Western Division’s agriculture sector.

Mr Kumar said his officers on the ground reported boost in growth of about 45 per cent which includes the production of milk.

“The water issues in the Tavua and Rakiraki area have improved with pastures being replenished  due to the small flash flooding a week ago which is an indication of good rainfall,” he said.

Mr Kumar said farmers were also to be mindful of Lantana plants which are toxic for livestock to feed on and may be mistaken for normal feeding grass however this will cause Diarrhea amongst livestock.

“Farmers whose livestock encounter such symptoms after their animals consume Lantana plants must come immediately to us for treatment of their livestock,” he said.

 

Seed supply

Mr Kumar said they have been working also with the Commissioner Western’s office in advising farmers to start planting in small areas.

Seeds for vegetable farming are to be available at different stations by today.

He said issues have been raised by farmers regarding the insufficient supply of seeds.

“We only provide seeds if a new variety of crops are introduced and also improve livelihood of farmers,” he said.

“However, a few farmers are being assisted by the Ministry oto set up nurseries and also a lot of semi-commercial and commercial farmers are buying seeds.”

Edited by: RACHNA LAL

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