✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters

Benue farmers worry as rain delays planting

Planting of rain-fed crops is yet to begin in Benue State due to prolonged absence of rainfall. Farmers, who expected rain to stabilise in April…

Planting of rain-fed crops is yet to begin in Benue State due to prolonged absence of rainfall.

Farmers, who expected rain to stabilise in April to enable the commencement of wet season cropping, are very worried that it is yet to happen. Daily Trust on Sunday reports that most of them have prepared their fields without planting anything yet.

A farmer at Tse-Nyon, a Makurdi suburb, John Zuzu, lamented that as at May 14, 2023, he was yet to plant maize or any other crop in his farmland due to drought.

“I prepared my land in April in anticipation that rain would stabilise, but up till now, there is no rainfall, and everywhere is very hot. We have had rain for about four times this year, but it is not enough to begin planting. In fact, the four times spread between February and May, meaning that it rained once in each month. I am afraid that there would be food scarcity next year,” he said.

Another farmer in Otukpo Local Government Area of the state, Paul Echioda, who has planted yam, said he was afraid that lack of rain might impact negatively on his farm.

Echioda said the delay had also prevented him from planting maize and other crops, which should have either germinated or growing at an appreciable level by May.

He said, “I am very worried. Soon, the period for planting wet season maize would pass.”

Farmers in Gboko did not differ in their complaint about lack of rainfall in the area. Although some of them have planted their crops, they are afraid that it would experience stunted growth.

Terwase Anthony told our correspondent that rain had been very minimal in the area this year, such that his two-week-old plants might not do well, especially as the seeds are not drought-resistant.

He said that to maintain a field in the midst of drought would require lots of money, considering the high cost of chemicals in the market.

In the same vein, women who have benefitted from the 100 hectares of land made available to them by Teryima Farms at the Federal University of Agriculture (FUAM) are yet to plant anything following drought.

The 100 women, mostly displaced persons, benefitted a hectare of land each, alongside seeds for planting.

The owner of Teryima Farms Limited, Vitalis Tarnongo, said the gesture would enable the women have something to eat and sell for income generation.

“This is May and we still don’t know when farmers would start planting maize. This climate change this year will affect food production and may lead to insufficiency.  If this drought continues, there will be scarcity of grains – millet, guinea corn, soybean, among others by next year.

“I want to appeal to the state government to embark on massive dry season farming to mitigate the effect of drought. We have allocated lands to displaced persons to plant their crop as soon as the rain comes down.

“We are also going to give them fertiliser and other inputs while the university experts would provide them with best agronomy services to tackle any disease that may occur during the growth of the crops.

“Of the 1,000 hectares of land already prepared, we allocated 100 to women. The project will cost me N35 million,” Tarnongo said.

The state chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Comrade Aondongu Saaku, however, advised farmers to adopt drought-resistant seeds to enable them solve the problem.

Saaku said, “We have advised farmers to plough their fields and wait for any sudden rain so that they can cash into the opportunity to plant. And they should use organic substances that help plants to withstand drought.

“Once they do that they will no longer have the problem of drought. We also advise farmers to use chemicals that are drought-resistant.”

Nigerians can now earn US Dollars by acquiring premium domain names, most clients earn about $7,000 to $10,000, all paid in US Dollars. Click here to learn how to start.

%d bloggers like this: