Rainfall pattern causes ‘sleepless nights’ for Yobe farmers

Some farmers in Damaturu say the unstable nature of rainfall pattern this year, is worrisome and an indication of the need to place priority on irrigation farming.

The farmers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Damaturu on Monday that already the season had started experiencing ‘dry spell’ , a condition that was not favourable for

One of them, Malam Bukar Modu, a grain farmer, said that many farmers who planted their crops after the first rains had become disappointed as rainfall was not frequent as anticipated.

“Some of the farmers may have to re-plant because the crops that germinated earlier may have withered due to lack of water, ” he said.

Another farmer, Alhaji Ibrahim Kaku, who is also a retired civil servant,  said he could not continue with planting after the completion of harrowing because rainfall had ceased for sometime.

“It has become a source of worry to many of us; we are not sure of crops’ survival because we are not sure of the rain, ” he said.

Kaku urged the state  government to evolve programmes that would exploit the potentials of irrigation farming.

“With the current changes in rainfall pattern, this (irrigation farming) will be a sure way to ensuring improved agriculture, food security and economic growth.

“I am happy that the governor has given irrigation farming a prominent place in the list of promises made at his inauguration speech.

“If government pays more attention to irrigation farming, we shall have a more productive agricultural practice across the state,” he said.

Also speaking, Haruna Madaki, urged the government to make farm input such as fertilizer, readily available to farmers for early application.

“One of the major challenges we face yearly is late distribution and application of fertilizer; this is having negative affects on yields,” he said.

Malam Maimadu Amu, who engages in farming in Damaturu, said farmers now took time to observe the rainfall pattern before planing their crops.

“Although we now study the situation before planting, sometimes we have no option than to take risk, lest one finds himself planting late, with no reasonable yield during harvest period,” he said.

Also speaking on the development, Lukus Mamman, a youth who engages in farming, said he often abided by the advice of meteorology department on when to plant crops, but said some of the prediction on weather did not always ‘ lick’.

” For this year, the lengthy intermittent gap between rainfalls, is worrisome and farmers are in dilemma,” he added.(NAN)

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