The Executive Director, National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, Niger State, Dr. Aliyu Umar has warned farmers to hesitate from rushing into planting with the first rainfall.
Umar, who issued the warning during an interview with journalists in his office, in Baddegi, said the alert became necessary as crops planted with the first rain might become roasted as a result of heat, if the rain stops.
He explained that to prevent losses, farmers should exercise some patience for another rain before planting their crops.
While describing the early rains across the country as good, he cautioned farmers not to rush into planting, saying, “If any farmer wants to use this first rain to plant, such farmer should ensure the storage of enough water to wet their crops if the rain did not continue . It is not advisable to plant with the first rain, but farmers should prepare their farms ahead. First rain means it is time for crop farmers to start clearing their farms, not to plant crops.”
“It does not mean they should commence planting immediately, it only means that they should prepare the ground and start planning ahead of the full rainy season,” he added.
Umar also enjoined farmers to embrace mixed cropping due to its advantages. “I want to advise farmers to plant mixture of crops so that in the event of anything, the loss will be minimal,” he added.
He however, urged farmers to purchase farming inputs from reputable sources to avoid wasting their money on adulterated inputs, which have been on the increase in markets.
The executive director assured that the NCRI would continue to provide quality seeds to boost agricultural production and food security in the country.
Source: Voice of Nigeria