Africa-Press – Cape verde. Farmers and cattle raisers in Santo Antão have renewed hope after the last rains on the island. The prospect is for good agricultural and livestock production, but fear of pests still does not give guarantees and leaves rural men in the midst of uncertainty. For now, livestock farmers have already started to reduce feed costs and sowing continues, despite the complaint of lack of labor for agricultural work.
The fall of the last rains in Cape Verde brought relief to the men of the field. In Santo Antão, farmers and ranchers renewed hope, after almost five years of water and pasture shortages, compounded by the health and humanitarian crises affecting the country.
The municipalities of Ribeira Grande and Paul have been the most affected by the rains. In the municipality of Porto Novo it has also rained, but to a lesser extent. Every drop of rain has been received with great joy and enthusiasm by those who have felt the disastrous effects of drought on their skin.
The prospect of good agricultural production is high, whether in irrigated or rainfed areas. In the eastern and northern plateaus of the island, farmers ensure that sowing is already guaranteed, many made in powder, as António Pinto, a farmer in Lagoa, in the East Plateau, told A NAÇÃO.
In the North Plateau, many farmers have only just started sowing, this due to the uncertainty of rainfall. Now, the excess weeding on the land is starting to give “some work” to sowing, according to Fidel Castro, a farmer in Chã de Cruz.
fear of pests
Despite the considerable amount of rain that has fallen in recent weeks and with the forecast of more rain for the archipelago, farmers somehow fear the spread of pests in crops, as has been the habit in some locations.
For farmer Arlindo Delgado, in Ribeira das Patas, Porto Novo, despite good agricultural forecasts, the Ministry of Agriculture must be on alert to prevent the spread of pests beforehand.
“Our biggest fear is having our crops destroyed by pests. There is no point in having good rain if there is not much pest control.
The Ministry of Agriculture and farmers must be alert and alert to prevent the spread of pests”, warns this farmer.
Farmers have also faced the problem of lack of labor for agricultural work. With the rains falling, several farmers and landowners have been looking for workers, but the search has proved to be in vain. The problem of manpower is due to the increase in demand in this period and the low availability of workers.
Breeders reduce feed costs
Cattle ranchers, on the other hand, have reason to celebrate. After years of facing lack of water and pasture, as well as constraints with MAA checks, ranchers are already starting to feel the impact of the last rains in their pockets.
The emergence of pasture, which increases every day, has made it possible to reduce the cost of feed, but also reflected in the increase in milk and cheese production, as stated by the creator and representative of the Porto Novo cattle raisers, Romeu Rodrigues.
If at one time they were selling cattle at the cost in an attempt to avoid death from malnutrition, now, with the rain, times seem different, with more excited and hopeful breeders and farmers confident of a good harvest.
Rain increases demand for landscapes and waterfall
The fall of the rains gave rise to a “new Santo Antão”. The last rains that fell on the island brought back the green landscape and increased the availability of water in streams, valleys and springs.
The paradisiacal scenery seen in photos becomes an invitation to discover the island.
Many people from other islands and from Santo Antão, even, have been looking for landscapes and waterfalls, especially those of Paul and Ribeira da Torre, for their treat.
The rain has increased domestic tourism to Santo Antão that, in recent days, in addition to the farmers and ranchers being happy, the economic promoters have also shown themselves to be satisfied with the economic pulse caused by the increase in visitors.