Climate change affects farmers

as some areas are receiving heavy rains

Farmers have cried foul with the change of climate which according to them has affected their farming activities. Farmers in Tisangalare group which is in Matola Village, Balaka, complained that all their efforts are in vain.

The farmers say they planted early in October last year but because of drought, their plants dried up.

One of the farmers Dickson Malunga said that he has lost all his plants which he planted in October and not only that but also fertilizers since he applied the first application in November. Dickson Malunga is planting again with hope that the coming of rain will normalise, but he is not sure where he will get the fertilizers.

Other farmers in the group are planting again. If rains continue to come, they will apply fertilizer.

Farmers who have grow cash crops like cotton, tobacco and tomatoes are also complaining that the rains will affect the time they have to bring their produce to the market.

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Farmers sensitization on fertilizer application


Chilungamo is a group consists of 12 members in Chipote village. Although there were some problems which they were facing with plants germination, they planted their maize.

Weeding has been done in most of the fields. Only 3 beneficiaries have not yet applied fertilizer. These 3 farmers removed all their plants because were of stunted growth so they decided to replant.

With good rains which came on 11/01/2012, all plants have germinated well. Some of the beneficiaries have already applied CHITOWE. For those who did not mix CHITOWE and CAN, were advised to apply CAN after 3 weeks and Agronomist, John Martin advised them to make sure that their fields are free from weeds.

Due to climate change, these farmers also had another option of planting a cash crop which is cotton. Others also planted tomato and groundnuts.

In this village fields looks promising if rain continues to come they will have a good harvest.

Prospects for the 2011/2012 rainfall season in Malawi

SUMMARY: Normal total rainfall amounts are expected over most parts of Malawi during the 2011/2012 rainfall season.

People should expected normal rains by January 2012

Climate scientists from the National Meteorological Services within the SADC region, including Malawi, met from 17th to 28th August 2011 in Windhoek, Namibia. The aim of the meeting was to come up with a consensus forecast for the 2011/2012 rainfall season for the SADC region. This was presented to users at the fifteenth Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-15) which took placefrom 29th to 31st August 2011 at the same venue.

The consensus forecast was prepared using national inputs with additional contributions from International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI, USA), National Centre for Environmental Prediction (NCEP, USA), European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), UK Met Office, and Meteo France. The rainfall seasonal forecast is based on models that use scientifically established relationships between rainfall over Southern Africa and Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) over the oceans.

While some models continue to predict El Nino/ Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions which imply neither El Nino nor La Nina, the majority are predicting increasingly negative SSTs (cooling) in the central tropical Pacific Ocean, implying the return of La Nina conditions, up to March 2012.

For Malawi, the consensus outlook indicates that during the period October to December 2011, the northern half of the country has 35% chance of rainfall total being above normal, 40% chance of being normal and 25% chance of being below normal while the Southern half has 25% chance of rainfall total being above normal, 40% chance of being normal and 35% chance of being below normal.

During the period January to March 2012, the northern half of Malawi has 35% chance of rainfall total being above normal, 40% chance of being normal and 25% chance of being below normal while the Southern half has 40% chance of rainfall total being above normal, 35% chance of being normal and 25% chance of being below normal.

Based on the above analysis, the 2011/2012 forecast indicates that from October to December 2011, the northern half of the country will receive normal to above normal total rainfall amounts while the southern half will experience normal to below normal total rainfall amounts. The greater part of the country will experience normal to above normal total rainfall amounts during January to March 2012.

This forecast covers the rainfall season from October 2011 to March 2012 and is relevant only to seasonal time-scales and relatively large areas. It does not fully account for local and month to month variations in distribution of rainfall such as localised dry spells and flash floods.

This seasonal forecast is issued to users as a planning tool. For day to day operations, users are advised to make use of the available short and medium range forecasts and the 10-day Rainfall and Agrometeorological bulletin.

For further information contact: The Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, P.O. Box 1808, Blantyre;    E-mail: metdept@metmalawi.com; Tel: (265) 1 822014; Fax: (265) 1 822215. Website: www.metmalawi.com.