A heavy rainfall with ice storm last Thursday has grossly affected maize farms in parts of Funtua, Danja, Dandume and Faskari local government areas of Katsina State, a situation that might affect yield this harvest season.
Last week, ice storm reportedly destroyed over 300 farms of various crops in Kafur Local Government Area of the state.
Garba Sani Maska, a maize farmer in Funtua, said the rain started around 1am last Thursday and lasted for about four hours.
“We have not had rainfall like this in this season. Farms are overwhelmed. Wind and ice storm that accompanied the rain have made most of our maize farms flat. We are now in dilemma because if your maize is not mature, it cannot be harvested. Subsequent rainfalls and rodents will destroy the farms,” he said.
He added that beans would also be affected.
“The beans we planted in the maize farms are mostly destroyed as the crop is now covered by maize,” he also said.
Another farmer in Mairuwa, Shehu Yahaya, said that in such situation farmers would not have any option than to work on raising the crops and tying them with one another to minimise loss.
“The challenge is mostly in large farms, but for moderate and small ones, farmers can mobilise labourers to tactically raise the crops and tie them, otherwise rodents and water will destroy them. Those who were lucky that their own had matured have already started harvesting to give beans space to recuperate,” Yahaya said.
He added that maize farmers in the state this year had suffered numerous challenges, starting from high cost of fertiliser, army worms attack, low market price of the produce, and now, rainstorm.
Also, Malam Saminu Danja, a farmer and agro-allied products dealer, said that besides the natural causes of such unfortunate incident, indiscriminate application of herbicide also contributed to the soil losing its sticky nature.
“There is the need for local farmers here to be well educated on how best to use herbicides and pesticides because the major contributory factor of this incident is wanton abuse of chemicals on our soil,” Danja said.