An agricultural expert, Mr Emeka Okoli, has called on farmers, who rely on natural weather, to adjust their planting times to avoid running into losses.
Okoli, who is the Director of Technical Services, Anambra Ministry of Agriculture, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka.
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He said that there had been a change in the rain pattern in the last three years as a result of climatic change, and this had resulted in poor yields for farmers who lacked irrigation facilities.
“Farmers who are not on irrigation should be careful not to plant seeds like rice, maize and cassava in sandy-loam soil, but if they have clay soil which contains hygroscopic water, they can go ahead.
‘’This is because of the trend we have observed in the past three years which revealed that in some places, there are no much rains that can sustain plants. “So, farmers have to adjust so that they don’t suffer crop loss; the right time to plant this period is from the first rain in the year up to the second week of July and beginning of September; those with irrigation facilities have no problem,” he said.
Okoli said crops required sufficient rain in the first two months of planting for good survival without which there would be stress on the soil and the crops would die. (NAN)
In a related development, an Abuja-based agriculturist, Mohammed Ndana, has advised farmers interested in farming cowpea to start the planting immediately.
In a telephone interview with Daily Trust, Ndana, a retired extension officer, said the best time to plant the legume crop was from the mid-August because of the pattern of rain fall now.
‘’You see, cowpea, which people commonly call beans, is a delicate crop because if you plant it early and rain lasts, it may not do well because the crop don’t like heavy rains during flowering.
‘’So also if you plant it late or there is an early seizure of rain, the crop might not also do well, so in between, the best time to plant it is now and farmers, especially those in the North should start immediately,’’ he advised.