Crop farmers not positive about rain prospects



Alfred Tumelo, from the Zambezi region, says that farmers are looking at which direction the wind is blowing from. If it is blowing from the east to the west there will be rain. This year the wind is blowing from all sorts of directions, so therefore Tumelo doesn’t think they will receive much rain.

Johannes Sikerete from Kavango East has experienced strong eastern winds in the Mashare area, which he interprets as a sign of a normal rainy season.

Daniel Kashikora from Kavango West says that farmers there look at the leaves of the Boscia albitrunca tree (from which roots are harvested to produce sour milk). If they are green this time of the year, it means it will be a good rain year. However, these leaves have by now already dried up and died, so there will not be much rain this season.
Johannes Keshongo from Oshikoto region is more positive. He says that one particular bush species which grow between the mopani trees, has set healthy green leaves which is a good sign. He also says that the wind is blowing from the east, which promises rain.

Letta Sebron from Omusati region is looking at marula trees and makalani palms. If the marula trees start flowering in October, it is a sign of a good rainy season, same if the makalani starts setting fruit around this time. Neither is happening, meaning she does not think there will be good rains.
Anna Halwoodi from Ohangwena region is also looking at the marula trees and says that they are not yet flowering in her area, which is not a good promise for rain.

Julia Shipanga from Oshana region holds a positive view as the marula trees in her area north-east of Ondangwa are flowering. In addition, the area has experienced strong eastern winds. Shipanga thus predicts a normal rainy season.
In northern the Kunene region Oliphant Kapi explains some signs farmers are looking for to predict rainfall. They are observing which direction cattle are facing when standing up and stretching in the morning. If they face the east it is a sign of a good rainy season to be expected. Farmers also observe the behaviour of goats. If goats make a loud sound when flipping their ears, it is a sign of good rain. Another farmer from Kunene, Droog Pekaha, says that the eastern wind is a promising sign for a good rainy season. In fact, the Okangwati area has received rain and the river there is already full.


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