In Nigeria, most rural farmers plant their crops without due consideration to weather conditions. Climate changes have been affecting farmers in Africa negatively for years because we do not pay attention to weather prediction.
Last year(2019), thousands of hectares of rice farms were washed by flood across our major rice cultivation states of the Federation.
2020 is a year when the global food production/supply system is said to be in danger due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s prediction has been made and I would want you to have access to it today. Share it with other farmers, educate rural farmers in your community so they plant at the right time and use the appropriate farmland.
The research was conducted by the “Institute For Agriculture Research, Samaru” in conjunction with the Faculty of Agriculture, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Key predictions available for teeming farmers are:
Number One: Prediction and projection of delay in onset (proper establishment) of rainfall and delay in cessation (prolong ending) of rainfall in the Northern Guinea spanning part of Katsina South, Southern part of Kano, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Kogi states as well as Southern Guinea Savannas covering parts of Oyo, Osun, Ondo States of Nigeria and beyond.
Meaning: Rains wouldn’t establish for crops planting on time and when it starts raining, it will be abnormal. The rains will continue to fall heavily for a long period of time because it will finally stop.
The states that will experience the delay for rains and prolong ending are Katsina, Benue, Kogi, Kaduna, Oyo, Kano, Osun, and Ondo states. It means that farmers in the above-mentioned states need to be educated about this prediction so they can know when best to cultivate on their farmlands.
Number Two: The total amount of rainfall to be expected in 2020 will be similar to previous years except that the number of rainy days will increase. Therefore, farmers are advised to plant crop varieties that have a medium maturity period to avoid floods and harvest losses due to anticipated prolong rainfall.
Meaning: Last year, a lot of rice, maize, and cassava farms were lost to flooding due to excessive rains. Now, based on the above predictions, 2020 rainy days will be longer than 2019 days.
So, farmers are advised to plant crops with medium maturity period to avoid floods and harvest losses due to longer rainy days that we might likely face in 2020. If you are planting maize, rice, cassava, wheat, and others, please plant hybrids with short maturity days.
Number Three: A moderate increase in the density of rainfall will be experienced during the 2020 rainy season which may result in floods and excessive water for certain crops like maize, thereby causing harvest rots and washing off fertilizers.
Meaning: Rainy days of 2020 will be longer than 2019 wet season rainfall. Crops that couldn’t stand excessive water will die off which will lead to a huge loss of food in the soil.
In view of this, farmers are kindly advised to pay attention to the following mitigating measures:
A: Extend planting date of crops between at least two (2) weeks beyond the planting date in their locations.
B: Use medium maturity varieties were available or further delay planting of early maturity crops.
C: Nitrogen fertilizer (NPK) 20:10:10 should be applied in at least 3 splits for cereal crops like maize, sorghum and millet in the region.
The sad reality is that our rural farmers that need this information most about the weather/climate prediction, might not have access to it. Therefore, if you are reading this piece of information, it is your responsibility to share with them.
If you are the one investing in rice production, do not cultivate in flood zones. Farmers with upland farms will do better this year.
Share the message till our rural farmers get to understand what they ought to do!