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MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE ISSUES SECTORSí DISASTER PREPAREDNESS MEASURES
Friday 9th September 2011

The readiness of the Agriculture and Livestock sectors are critical for the sustainability of our Food Security.

For these reasons, the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing & the Environment is advising stakeholders of the importance to properly secure their agriculture produce, inputs, equipment and their animals from disasters.
 
Review Local Emergency Plans
  • Have in place an emergency operations plan which describes how to coordinate with others in times of a disaster. One of the biggest challenges in the sector is the failure of farmers, to in a timely manner secure inputs, tools and equipment:
  • As a result we are advising farmers to:
  • Continue to Monitor the Weather System
  • Familiarize yourself with the contact details of your Agriculture District Officer
  • Secure agro –chemicals from flood planes
  • Secure seedlings, (especially those in trays) at the latest possible time and put them back in the soil as soon as the weather system has passed
  • Remove pumps from stream –ways and suction lines from stream ways, as well
  • Secure Drip Irrigation lines that are in flood plains and near stream ways
  • Secure Motorized and other equipment
  • Reap crops that are prone to water spoilage 
  • Conduct a pre –survey of your commodities
  • Remove livestock’s to higher grounds
  • Have ready an emergency kit for animals
PROMOTING PREPAREDNESS IN THE LIVESTOCK SECTOR
Preparation
  • Farm buildings should not be close to flood-prone areas.
  • Farm buildings should be well constructed:
  • Appropriate adaptations to withstand strong winds but still allow for adequate ventilation – perhaps movable shutters can be used to protect the animals from strong winds during a storm, but removed during normal conditions to keep area well ventilated
  • Hours before the storm hits:
  • The Farmers should take the following precautions.
  • Remove cattle and small ruminants from low lying areas to higher ground away from flood prone areas and areas likely to have landslides.
  • Release larger stock such as cattle, horses and donkeys and also small ruminants into an open field area. Tying animals increases chances of injury.
  • Collect any eggs from poultry.
PROMOTING PREPAREDNESS IN THE LIVESTOCK SECTOR
After the disaster:
  • After the disaster, the farm should return to production as soon as possible.
  • Assess property for damage to buildings, animals, equipment.
  • Dispose of dead animals by burial or burning.
  • Remove all debris especially nails and other sharp objects from the fields that the animals usually inhabit.
  • Clean and repair cages, pens houses as soon as possible and return animals.
  • Check for signs of illness in any of the animals and report it to your local veterinarian.
  • Provide clean and uncontaminated water and feed.
For Further detail:
The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands Housing & the Environment has developed a Disaster Preparedness Toolkit, entitled “Saving Animals Securing Our Animals from Disasters, which could be accessed on the ministry’s website at www.agricultureantiguabarbuda.com.
 
Other details, for technical officers could also be retrieved from the site, for further detail.
Additionally livestock officer s could   contact the Veterinary & Livestock Division, Department of Agriculture, Friars Hill, St. John’s, Antigua at 460-1759 /562-1814 for any further information.

And for the Crop Sector, Director of Agriculture Mr. Jedidiah Maxime at 764-1259, Mr. Sereno Benjamin or Owolabi Elabanjo your respective district extension officer.

 


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