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INTERVIEW: Nigerian farmers need to study the climate before planting

The National Coordinator Zero Hunger commodity association, Dr Tunde Arosanyin
in the interview with Agro News Updates, analysed the rainfall prediction of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET). He also advised farmers on actions to take before planting.

Nimet has just released the weather forecast for 2020 , what is your reaction to the prediction?

I want to sincerely congratulate the Minister of Water Resources, the Director General of Nimet and the entire staff of the agency for an excellent job and timely release of the weather prediction for the year .
Can you give us the analysis of the prediction?
Yes, a careful study of the release signifies early rainfall in most part of the country and by implication early stoppage of the rain.
In a layman’s language, please expantiate on this early rainfall and early stoppage?
In a simple explanation, i will divide the country into three zones namely Coastland states, Midland states and Semi-arid and Arid states . States that falls into coastal areas are Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta , some parts of Ogun, Oyo,Ondo, Imo, and Ebonyi states . While Midland states are Enugu, Kwara, Kogi, Ekiti,Benue states . From Niger, Kaduna, Kebbi and Plateau upward to Borno,  Katsina and Jigawa states falls into Semi arid and Arid zone. Points to note, is that the coastal areas should expect rainfall as from the month of February but farming activities should commence in the month of March when the moisture content of the soil would have been saturated for crop survival, the rain is expected to last till the month of November. In Midland zone, rainfall is expected as from the month of March but planting should start in the month of April while the rain is expected to stop in early October. For Semi arid and Arid states, rainfall will start in the month of April but it is advisable to plant in the month of May or early June , rainfall is expected to seize in the month of September.
Do expect flooding in the year?
Very, very likely because of the erratic nature the rainfall pattern which is also premised on so many human factors such as deforestation, blockage of water ways with non degradable elements and construction and emissions from automobile and engines.
What is your advice generally?
My advice to government is to increase advocacy in educating the public on excessive logging, indiscriminate dumping on water ways and most importantly to construct canals or dams along the two major rivers . To the Farmers, they must study the weather before planting to avoid crop failure and loss , they should also source for early maturing and drought resistant seeds. To individuals and corporate bodies, we must encourage tree planting, discourage bush burning , recycle non degradable plastic and protect the water ways .

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