Fernanda Martins, who is substituting the Rural Development Ministry delegate on the island, Leonine Carvalho, said that the situation has worsened because of the low levels of precipitation and the emergence of pests, such as green stinkbugs and locusts. In order to combat them, the Ministry of Rural Development has sent a team to support farmers in the field.
According to Martins, if rain fails to fall in the coming days, the farming season in the island’s arid and semi-arid zones will be lost. In addition, soil humidity is low, as is the development of pasture in these zones. However, she affirms that farmers are hopeful that the situation may see a turnaround if it rains abundantly in the next days and if no strong winds occur.
In the island’s humid and sub-humid zones, the situation is “slightly different,” with plants showing greater growth. Farmers have carried out the first round of weeding and are currently waiting for the next rainfall, but pastures are all but guaranteed.
The situation is identical on the neighboring island of Fogo, where the scenario is critical in arid and semi-arid zones. In humid and sub-humid zones, however, plant growth is well advances and farmers are hopeful about a good agricultural season.
Minister of Rural Development Eva Ortet, after visiting various municipalities in the country, affirmed that the situation this year was “rather heterogeneous.”
“There are zones where seeds were lost, and right now some farmers are planting seeds for the second time, while others are already in the first or second round of weeding. As this shows, there is considerable heterogeneity in crop development,” said the cabinet minister.
Cape Verde’s Nation Meteorology and Geophysics Institute (INMG) forecasts normal rains throughout the archipelago this year, with an average of 250 mm of precipitation.