ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Food supply in most markets across the country is expected to be stable, despite the dry period being encountered.
That’s the assurance coming from the Ministry of Agriculture, which has reported that most of the larger farmers are still preparing their lands to continue production.
While admitting that the period could be an advantage and a disadvantage to farmers, Extension Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Owalabi Elabanjo, said it is a preference for most farmers to cultivate the land during this time.
“Most of our farmers – mostly those who have water and all the resources – they are more comfortable planting food during this season going around the fields,” Elabanjo said.
“For most of our farmers, this is when they prepare lands easily.”
Elabanjo said while production for the larger farmers would not be a problem, smaller farmers might not fare so well.
“It’s going to slow down some production for them,” he said.
According to the extension officer, it is during the dry season when there is easy access to certain farms, especially in the southern parts of the island.
A few months ago, Agriculture Minister Hilson Baptiste said negotiations were ongoing with Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) to provide cheaper water for farmers who have complained about the scarcity of the resource.
Most farmers here depend mainly on rainfall to grow their crops and ensure viability of their farms.
Forecaster attached to the Antigua & Barbuda Meteorological Officer Cecil Matthew said the dry spell is not directly linked to the 2012 hurricane season.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)