Agriculturalist calls for paradigm shift

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Lack of rains in the past months had been a nightmare for many farmers in the country especially those who had already planted their crops and hit by scarcity of rainfall. However, agriculturalists are calling for paradigm shift.

Foday Sanneh, an experienced agriculturalist in the Lower River Region (LRR), said there is a need for a system to provide a holistic response in real-time for any changes that may occur and any effect on the crops.

According to him, agriculture being one of the world’s oldest industries and underpinning human settlement throughout  history, is undergoing fundamental change.

He said first physical water scarcity can occur when there is simply not enough water to meet all demands when use outpaces replenishment. This results from increasing demands for water, spurred by challenges like climate change, urbanization, dietary change and industrial development.

Mr. Sanneh added that water scarcity exists, but the people who need it most are left out by inequitable or otherwise flawed institutions and women farmers are particularly disadvantaged. They are often under represented when it comes to ownership and management of irrigation system.

“Farmers, as part of the service can access a smartphone application providing all data and real-time updates regarding water supply and unusual weather forecast,” he suggested.

“However, in some cases enough water is technically available but increased competition over it causes local or intermittent scarcity for example, when an upstream irrigation scheme consumes too much water, downstream farmers are left out to do without.”