JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Minister made the disclosure during a press briefing to provide information on drought and rainfall predictions for 2014.
  • The products were developed in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
  • Some of the products are: seasonal precipitation outlook; drought monitoring; seasonal drought forecast; and the farmers’ bulletin.

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, says that climate monitoring products and services have been developed for the agricultural sector.

The Minister made the disclosure during a press briefing held at the Ministry’s Dominica Drive offices on January 9, to provide information on drought and rainfall predictions for 2014.

He informed that the products were developed in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and extension officers and farmers are evaluating the tools.

Some of the products are: seasonal precipitation outlook; drought monitoring; seasonal drought forecast; and the farmers’ bulletin.

“The seasonal precipitation outlook is a climate predictability tool, which incorporates sea surface temperatures. It also predicts seasonal rainfall. Drought monitoring uses the monthly rainfall amounts to determine drought conditions on a station-by-station basis,” Mr. Pickersgill explained.

Turning to the seasonal drought forecast, he said that farmers will now have access to scientific information to help them better plan and prepare for dry conditions some three months in advance. “I am pleased to announce that Jamaica has taken the lead in the development of this climate services tool in the region,” the Water Minister said.

As it relates to the farmers’ bulletin, he said that it provides information on all climate services tools such as drought analysis, rainfall predictions and drought forecasting. Farmers, therefore, are now empowered to better plan their agricultural activities such as planting, pest control and reaping.

Information on all these products and services can be accessed on the website of the Meteorological Service at www.metservice.gov.jm.