It has been two weeks now without rainfall in Funtua, Danja, Bakori, Kankara and some parts of Katsina State; a situation that has instilled anxiety among farmers whose crops were yet to mature.
According to the farmers, there were soybeans variety that requires ample moisture to yield fruits; sorghum and beans too need moisture to give the desired results.
Shu’aibu Bala of Majema area in Danja LGA noted that rainfall had never ended in the month of September.
“What we are used to is that rainfall stops either in the first week or middle of October and if we are lucky, it can even extend to the end of the month. If really rain has stopped in September as indicated now, then many farmers will suffer and food crisis may worsen,” he said.
Bala added that new soybeans now costs N40,000 per 100kg bag and majority of the produce were yet to be harvested and on the verge of being destroyed as a result of early rainfall stoppage.
Another farmer and agricultural expert, Usman Abdullahi Hunkuyi, said even if the rainfall resumes in this October, the damage had already been done on majority of the farms in the area.
“Beans, especially the ones on highland farms, require enough moisture to blossom and sprout, same with sorghum that is on fruiting stage now; its yield will surely reduce with the shortage of rainfall. Soybean is the most affected because at its seed stage, it needs ample moisture to make milk which eventually transform into the seeds. Where there is shortage of rainfall, the seeds will become so tiny,” said Abdullahi Hunkuyi.
He advised that beans and soybeans farms that are near river banks should be watered mechanically to avoid wanton loss by the farmers.
Meanwhile, there was bumper harvest of rice and maize in the area. Our reporter who went round some markets observed that there was paddy rice at Bakori and Funtua markets and buyers from different parts of the country and beyond were seen purchasing the produce in bulk for onward supply to rice processing factories.