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Sri Lanka highland farmers advised to light bonfires as frost bites

Jan 13, 2017 08:46 AM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's highland farmers have been advised to light small bonfires in vegetable fields to reduce frost damage to crops, which have been experiencing exceptionally cold weather and frost.

Sri Lanka's mountainous Nuwara Eliya district is an important centre for vegetable cultivation.

Sri Lanka's Department of Agriculture, in a weather update, said farmers should engage in evening irrigation to make the soil wet, especially on days that are cloud free.

"Furthermore, they could also establish several small beacons/bonfire at several places in the farmlands after mid night without harming the crops in the field," the statement said.

Mulching also helps, the Department of Agriculture said.

In 2016, Sri Lanka also experienced a severe drought in many parts of the island, hitting water-intensive rice cultivation hard.

The agriculture department said dry weather conditions, coupled with cold nights, may continue for several more days, with increased risk of occurrence of frost damage in higher elevations of the Nuwara Eliya district.

Sri Lanka has experienced low than normal temperatures due to monsoonal winds flowing from a more northerly direction compared to a the usual North Eastern direction.

Many parts of the world has been experiencing unusually cold weather. Some areas of the Sahara desert have seen snowfall after forty years.

The cold weather is associated with a global La Nina weather phenomenon.

Some critics say it is also fashionable to associate extreme weather events whether - cold or hot - to manmade 'global warming'. What used to be called global warming is now more often called 'climate change'. (Colombo/Dec11/2016)


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