Seed World

Status Nigeria: Farmers Expect Bumper Harvest


Farmers are expecting, to enjoy bumper harvest this year occasioned by the prediction of normal rainfall and adherence to best agronomy practices. This comes even as climate change threatens the rainfall pattern.

In Benue State, most farmers believe that the rain, which had just begun, was late for the season, but experts think otherwise, noting that the downpour was right on time.

Daily Trust reports that earlier this year, the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET)’s annual seasonal rainfall prediction had indicated the probability of bountiful harvest following expected normal rainfall.

To this end, farmers are not only required to plant early maturity crops, but also must take advantage of the plan to be educated, possibly by governments on which type of crops to plant so as to reduce losses and maximize gains.

In Benue, farmers have begun tilling following last week’s rain, while others have started planting mostly yam, maize and melon.

The state’s chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Aondona Hembe Kuhe, admits that the rains started a bit late but that maize and groundnut farmers should expect high yields.

Kuhe, who expressed worry that the current insecurity in the state had displaced nearly a million farmers from their rural homes, says the desertion of their farms could affect food security.

He says if the rains had begun in March, farmers would have produced early maize to sustain food security, noting that yam should also have been planted earlier, between November and February.

The AFAN chairman advised farmers to engage in best agronomy practices to guard against diseases which may affect their crops, especially stressing the need for yam farmers to apply right solutions according to their soils across the state for bumper results.

“Diseases will affect yam from the soil due to the rainfall, so farmers should apply right solution as appropriate for soil in different locations of the state,” he says.

A farmer, Ogli Sunday, says because the rains began in May does not mean it will affect expected harvest as in his estimation, the timing was alright for his crops such as yam, maize and melon which were still being planted.

Sunday urged the state government to supply farmers with genuine fertilizers before the end of this month for a bumper harvest to be realized, else the idea of making the produce available in June/July would upset expectations.

Another farmer in the state, Victor Anyebe, appealed that the state government should urgently provide necessary inputs for the rural farmers to mitigate pests attack on crops and control other diseases so that good harvest can be achieved for food sustainability.

In Katsina State, farmers are now set for the take-off of farming activities for this rain-fed season.

Source: Daily Trust.