ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change, Mushahid Ullah Khan has said that though onset of winter rainy season began quite late this year by nearly three weeks, the winter recent heavy winter rain spells in northern parts of the country including Photohar region will help boost productivity of winter season crops.
The recent winter rain spells will prove as natural fertilizer for the winter season crops, particularly wheat, mustard and grams, the minister said in a statement issued here.
He hoped that the winter rains will also help allay farmers fears of poor crop output or their failure on account of poor and delayed rains during the sowing season of the winter crops, mainly in rain-fed areas in country’s north. But now they are happy over profuse rains over last two weeks, he said.
This week’s lashing rains accompanied by hailstorm in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and adjoining areas were unusual in terms of their intensity and timing but direly needed for the winter crops, mainly in rain-fed areas.
Few years ago, rains of such intensity were common during the sowing of the winter crops. But they are getting late due to weird climatic changes, he observed.
The Minister said that previously what would happen was that winter rains would begin in last weeks of December and grow intense gradually in January and then their intensity would start from mid-February.
But now such trend of winter rainfall has become late by 21 to 25 days as weather experts indicate.
Mushahid Ullah Khan remarked that the rains in the country were becoming erratic, unpredictable because of changing weather patterns caused by climate change.
However, there was need for farmers to adapt to the shifting changing weather patterns and grow their crops accordingly.
He urged the technical experts of agriculture and irrigation departments to help farmers to adapt to these rapidly shifting weather patterns, so that they can stave off crop failures or productivity losses.
These experts also need to collaborate with weather experts at the Pakistan Meteorological Department to bridge gap between farmers and the weather forecasts so that these weather forecasts are timely communicated to farmers through communication channels, he stressed and argued the timely communication of the weather forecasts will help farmers in adaptation to the changing climate.