Tue | Dec 12, 2017

Agri sector reviving as rains ease drought

Published:Wednesday | September 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The dry spell that has been impacting the country for the past few months has not yet come to an end, according to Jeffrey Spooner, director of the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, despite an increase in rainfall over the last few weeks.

Spooner noted, however, that there have been some changes in the agricultural sector, as plants and greenery have been showing signs of improvement.

"Currently, the predictions still stand. However, we have been getting what we call 'welcome rainfall'. As it relates to the agricultural drought, there have been some changes. We are beginning to see that some greenery and the plants are not so water-stressed," Spooner told The Gleaner yesterday.

He said he would not be able to speak of any changes until the current data have been analysed.

"As it relates to the meteoro-logical drought, we are in the process of having the data collection being done for drought conditions to be analysed," he said.

"As it stands now, however, we welcome the rainfall, but with respect to the drought analysis, looking at the 60 per cent of normal rainfall, we have not completed that analysis to speak definitively to any changes at this point," he said.

Making reference to the parishes of Manchester, Clarendon and St Elizabeth, which were gravely affected by the drought conditions, he said there have been signs of positive change.

"The good thing, also, is that those parishes that were impacted significantly [by the drought] are beginning to see a turnaround. They are not so parched and dry, and we have to be grateful," he said.

"I'm still hoping that very soon we can say that there have been some changes, and the data we are about to analyse will show some differences as it relates to previous predictions, but as it is now, we are stilling standing by earlier projections," he said.

The Meteorological Service of Jamaica recently announced that the drought that parts of the island have been experiencing could continue into the January- April dry season of 2015.