Civil Society Agriculture Network (CisaNet) has appealed to government to increase investment in irrigation activities as the country is expected to receive erratic rainfall in the 2018/19 agricultural season.
The consensus forecast produced by the 22nd Southern African Regional Climate Outlook Forum (Sarcof) in Lusaka, Zambia predicated that Southern African countries, including Malawi, will receive erratic rainfall in the next planting season.
In an interview, CisaNet national director Pamela Kuwali said government needs to create more awareness to farmers on how they can respond to drought to minimise the impact.
“Stakeholders in the agriculture sector should support farmers with seeds and cuttings of drought tolerant crop and government storage reserves should also be full of maize to their maximum capacity,” she said.
Kuwali asked farmers to grow early-maturing crop varieties as the season may be shorter due to anticipated drought.
The climate experts considered oceanic and atmospheric factors that influence the climate of the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) region.
Sarcof further said bulk of the Sadc region is expected to receive normal to below-normal rain for most of the period of October 2018 to March 2019.
Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services director Jolamu Nkhokwe said regional forecast might be different to local forecast due to physical and geographical factors. n