Niue Farmers Being Impacted By Second Month Of Drought

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Water usage curtailed, lighting of fires discouraged

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 1, 2014) – Farmers in Niue are being careful with water usage, as a dry spell in the country enters its second month.

The Department of Agriculture says those most affected are growers of leafy vegetables, watermelons and cucumbers, as well as some taro farmers, who choose to water their crop.

The department's senior technical project manager, Poi Okesene, says measures are also being looked at, to preserve planting materials.

"It is like a gene bank that we can actually deploy to have the planting materials at the, at our research farm, we irrigate them and try to improve their condition. And when the dry spell is over, we will be able to share the planting materials, with the farmers who don't have any of the planting materials because of the dry spell."

Poi Okesene, says the fire department has also warned farmers to take care when lighting fires to clear land which he says is a common practice on the island.

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