ISLAMABAD: Ministries of aviation, climate change, water resources and national food security and research will work jointly to find solutions to the impact of weather change on rabi crops.

This was decided in a meeting of ministers for national food security and aviation. The meeting stressed the need for providing the weather information and its impact on crops to the farmers through various means of communication.

Senior officials of Pakistan Meteorological Department officials briefed the meeting about the intensity of upcoming weather spell.

They were of the view that all the stakeholders should be taken on board in view to minimise the adverse impact of climate change on crops and especially on wheat productivity. Rabi season starts from November and continue until April. According to the seasonal agro-climate outlook from November to April, the central Punjab is expected to receive two to three spells of light to moderate rainfall primarily during February till first week of March and second in April. The wheat crop would be at grain formation stages therefore the expected rains may benefit the crop in gaining the grain maximum size. But the rains and cloudiness during April would prolong the crop life and may distrupt the harvesting activities.

The Potohar region may receive three to four light to moderate rain spells mainly from February till the end of April, heavy downpours expected during April. Besides, a light rain is expected during mid of November, that may benefit the sowing of wheat.

Southern Punjab, as per general pattern, would receive light rainfall during February and April. The continuous dry season throughout the cropping season may increase the crop water demand.

Upper Sindh is expected to receive light rainfalls particularly during the first fortnight of February. Wheat crop in most parts of the region would be at maturity stages and the rain spell may have a good impact on the growth of crop.

Lower Sindh would receive light rainfalls mainly in the second decade of February and in the mid of April during the specified period. The rainfall in February will be beneficial for the crop in provision of moisture content. Wheat crop in this part of Sindh is normally fully matured and ready to be harvested around mid of March.

Upper Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is expected to experience several light to moderate spells of precipitation from February till the end of April, with a few heavy downpours. Besides, a light rain is expected during mid of November, that may benefit the sowing of wheat. During starting of Rabi season, the expected dry period may increase the crop water demand.

While during February and March, the wheat crop is at the grain formation stages and the expected rainfalls may benefit the crop’s growth.

Lower Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa would receive several light to moderate rainfall spells from January till end of the April. The wheat crop would be at grain formation stages in February while at maturity stages during the March. Therefore, the consecutive rains during March and April may prolong the crop lifecycle for about ten days and would disrupt the harvesting activities.

Central Balochistan may receive light rainfalls mainly during the last week of February and in third decade of March. Wheat is at the maturity stages in March, therefore these rains may help prolong the crop.

North-Eastern Balochistan would receive continuous spells of light to moderate precipitation mainly from last week of January till the end of April. The wheat crop during this period in the area would be at reproductive to grain formation stages and therefore may be benefited from expected rains.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2020


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