Towards augmenting summer crop production

Nature in the summer season is sleeping because of low temperature, frost in the air and snowing weather condition. Areas are seen green and most of plants and animals are thus having their hibernation period as the summer is not full of bright colors. Farmers grow crops, use the required agricultural inputs and sow some others, weed again others with a view to harvesting a good yield at the end of the day, particularly at the time of harvest season.

Taking all the fact regarding the activities carried out during summer season, particularly among the farming community, The Ethiopian Herald had a stay with Amanuel Hatiya, an agro-economist graduated from Hawassa University and working for a certain public enterprise as post- harvest and crop consultant.

He said, “The summer season is also a peak season for tourism, as many people take the opportunity of school holidays and travel to different parts of the country to explore its natural and cultural treasures. From the tranquil beaches of the south to the snow-capped mountains of the north, Ethiopia offers a variety of travel opportunities that can be experienced during the summer, but this is not that much common among the Ethiopian community.”

According to Amanuel, summer, the coldest season of the year in Ethiopia, comes between autumn and spring. It is associated with plunging temperatures and icy weather. It is also a time or season is the perfect time to be at home, drink hot tea or coffee, spend time with family, friends, watch movies and just enjoy every day!

As to him, it is all high time to look for a means through sowing and providing the plots of land with seeds and required fertilizers that can help the farming community increase their production, productivity and profit while improving soil productivity, boosting select seed utilization and keeping appropriate tilling timing.

“In an era of rapidly advancing technology and shifting consumer preferences, the agricultural sector has to receive modern way of bolstering production and productivity via overcoming unprecedented challenges and smartly making use of opportunities available.”

The farming community in Ethiopia has to embark on intensive summer programs with a view to improving the entire food supply chain, from agricultural production to the final plate as the basis for better production is laid at this time. The focus will be on emerging technologies and trends that are shaping the future of food, with special emphasis on animal-based agricultural sectors such as livestock, aquaculture, and insects,” he opined.

He said, true, summer crop production could be promoted through applying soil testing and analysis, weed control and irrigation planning, entertaining crop rotation and diversity, nutrient management and fertilization, pest and disease prevention, proper seed selection as well as timing and seasonality. Yes, farmers need to well prepare for the seasons as summer is here to have tips that can help them give the prepared soil apt seeds and apply what has to be done during rainy season via proper land management and seed dispersion.

Relatively speaking, in other parts of the world, summer means lots of sunshine and a rainy season in Ethiopia and it is a special one for farmers who can look forward to having good harvest in the near future, in the season of spring and the subsequent time. It is important to take advantage of these natural sources in conjunction with summer water supplies. Solely relying on summer or rainy season water can lead to high costs and eventually result in water restrictions if there are drought conditions in some areas of the country which constitute dry and semi-dry spatial allotment in particular, he opined.

He said, “If possible, try to capture any rain if there is a short shower during the summertime. Rain barrels and water tanks can capture and easily store any precipitation. Healthy soil will always retain water more effectively than one without any organic matter. Add compost to pursuit farmland to keep the soil healthy and consider constructing water harvesting wells to ensure water gets into the soil.”

Maximizing water during the summer season is very important, and this approach can help keep the soil nourished while preventing water from quickly evaporating in the hot sun. Some hobby farmers will also constrict irrigation systems, like drip lines, to water in a targeted manner during the summer. Drip lines can help save water by cutting down on over-spray, he added.

According to Amanuel, aerating the subsoil in spring will increase the resilience of pasture of the farming community to a summer time. Aeration increases dry matter and also roots depth, which allows pasture to cope better with a dry spell.

This season falls between the previous two; crops are grown from February to May, which not only meets the nutritional needs of the soil but also provides an additional source of income for farmers who would otherwise migrate in search of work. Timing is one of the most important factors in farming and can result in farmers making huge profits or suffering heavy losses. Everything in agriculture should be done at the appropriate time.

He further elucidated that a farmer may lose some crops per hectare for every day delayed in planting. For farmers who rely on drought animal power, early preparations will enable them to prepare land and have time to rest the animals while maintaining them in good shape. Climate change refers to changes beyond the average atmospheric condition that are caused both by natural factors such as the orbit of earth’s revolution, volcanic activities and crustal movements and by artificial factors such as the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases and aerosol.

He said “Above all, agricultural policy and low-carbon environmental policy should be properly integrated so that the concept of green growth in the overall agricultural sector in the country takes root. In order to maximize the policy effectiveness through a proper combination of policy instruments in various relevant sectors, a green innovation system should be established where policy-makers, researchers, relevant organizations, farmers and other relevant bodies can have proper understanding of green growth and share their roles.”

As to him, from the tranquil beaches of the south such as Hawassa and Ziway lakes to the snow-capped mountains of the north Simien Mountains, Ethiopia offers a variety of travel opportunities that can be experienced during the summer, though muddy weather baffles all. Summer is when most plants and trees are evergreen. The summer season is also associated with the risk of vector-borne diseases such as malaria as high temperature and humidity levels create a favorable environment for the breeding and growth of mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects.

Overall, the difficulties of the summer season can make it a challenging time for many people. However, by taking necessary precautions and adopting appropriate coping strategies, people can mitigate the negative effects of the season and enjoy its benefits.

We present a new seasonal forecasting model for the June–September rains in Ethiopia. It has previously been found that the total June–September rainfall over the whole country is difficult to predict using statistical methods. Scrupulous investigation has portrayed that the rainfall seasonality varies greatly from one region to another, which would explain why the total June–September rainfall over all nation is a difficult property to forecast. The spatial variability in rainfall by grouping the rain gauge stations into four geographical clusters based on seasonality and cross-correlation of rainfall anomalies.

He further added that summer (Kiremt) rainfall is expected to be the main source of water for even dams like the Grand Abbay Dam. There are three main rain seasons in the Upper Blue Nile River basin-the dry season from October to February (Mehir), the small rainy season from March to May (Belg) and the main rainy season usually from June to September (Kiremt).

The real summer rainfall, which peaks in July and August and concludes in September and October, is extremely important to the farming community as the have experienced substantial inter annual climate variability, which can have positive as well as negative impacts on local agriculture and major implications for national and thus for regional food security for trans-boundary hydro-economics are well experienced in this regard.

Amanuel has exhorted his idea saying ‘the ‘peak rainy season’ July and August, in particular, have helped the farming community capture precipitation at the end of the rainy season to pave conditions for the crop harvest season coming next. Though July and August are typically the major rainy months that are constituted in summer (Kiremt) in Ethiopia, fluctuated weather situations have been recorded, too.



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