The Institute for Agricultural Research Samaru, in conjunction with the Faculty of Agriculture, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, organized a Virtual Meeting on Wednesday, 27th May, 2020 with the theme “Dealing with a changing climate in Nigerian Agriculture”. Two papers were presented by experts at the meeting which featured almost a hundred participants across the globe. The Executive Director, IAR, Professor Mohammad Faguji Ishiyaku in an opening remark, stressed the importance of having accurate weather forecasts/predictions and timely warnings for agricultural activities to safeguard Nigeria’s teeming farmers from avoidable economic losses.
This was contained in a statement by the Executive Director, Professor Mohammad Faguji Ishiyaku on Teusday 2 june 202, it further explained that the key issues raised from the Virtual presentations requiring urgent attention of policy makers and implementers as well as the farmers amongst others include:
Prediction and projection of delay in onset (proper establishment) of rainfall and delay in cessation (prolonged ending) of rainfall in the Northern Guinea spanning parts of Katsina south, southern parts of Kano, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue and Kogi States and Southern Guinea Savannas covering parts of Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Kwara States of Nigeria and beyond.
The total amount of rainfall to be expected in 2020 will be similar to previous years except that the number of rainy days will decrease. Therefore, farmers are advised to plant crop varieties that have medium maturity period to escape floods and harvest losses due to anticipated prolonged rainfall.
A moderate increase in the intensity of rainfall will be experienced during the 2020 rainy season which may result in floods and excessive water for certain crops like maize, thereby causing harvest rots and washing off fertilizers.
In view of these, farmers are kindly advised to pay attention to the following mitigating measures:
Extend planting date of crops by at least two (2) weeks beyond the normal planting dates in their localities
Use medium maturity varieties where available or further delay planting of early maturing materials that are available with them
Nitrogen fertilizers that is, NPK 20:10:10 should be applied in at least 3 splits for cereal crops like maize, sorghum and millet in the region. In essence, fertilizers should be applied during planting as first dose, then 2 weeks after planting as second dose and the last application at 6 weeks after planting.
YTe Institute for Agricultural Research Samaru and the Faculty of Agriculture, Ahmadu Bello University, wish our teeming farmers a successful planting season and a bumper harvest.