The Federal Government has cautioned Nigerian farmers against early rainfall planting in 2021 farming season due to severe dry spell that is expected in many parts of the country.
Speaking at the Annual Season Climate Prediction (SCP) for 2021 weather prediction in Abuja, the Minister of Aviation, Sen Hadi Sirika, warned farmers that Nigeria will experience early rain, as early as 1st of March 2021.
He, however, said farmers should not be deceived by the rain as it would not be consistent, the long dry spell will follow shortly.
According to him “a normal to above-normal annual rainfall amount is expected for most parts of the country.
“However, below-normal rainfall totals are expected over a few places in the North-western parts of the country such as Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and Kano States.
“Pre- Onset Rainfall (False Onset): Before the full establishment of the onset of the planting season over the various ecological zones, a couple of rainfall events are expected to occur which could be enormous and tend to give a false start of the season.”
”Such rainfall events are not uncommon; however, their frequency seems to be on the rise. Some forcing functions have been observed to be likely responsible and will be monitored carefully and keep Nigerians informed. Farmers should therefore avoid early planting during this period to avoid losses.
Sirika further said: “A severe dry spell is predicted over (Arewa Dandi, Birnin Kebbi, Argungu, Augie) Kebbi, (Illela, Gada, Tangaza, Gudu, Sabon Birni) Sokoto, (Shinkafi, Birnin Magaji, Maradun, Zurmi) Zamfara, (Kaita, Mashi, Mai’Adua, Katsina, Dutsi, Daura, Baure, Zango) Katsina, (Gwiwa, Yankwashi, Gumel, Birniwa, Sule-Tankarkar), and (Guri, Kiri Kasama)in Jigawa.
“(Machina, Nguru, Yusufari, Yunusari, Karasuwa, Barde, Jakusko, Geidam) Yobe and (Abadam, Mobbar, Kukawa, Guzamala, Gubio, Nganzai, Monguno) Borno State in the months of June and July which may last between 2-3 weeks after the Onset.”
He advised that “farmers should adopt soil-moisture conservation techniques to reduce chances of crop failure during this period.”
The Minister noted that “the normal to above normal rainfall pattern in the country will lead to the possibility of isolated flash floods due to increasing high-intensity rainfall at the peak of the season, especially in areas that are naturally prone to flooding.
“The 2021 onset of the growing season is predicted to be normal to earlier than normal in most parts of the country. The earliest onset date is likely to occur on March 1, 2021, along the coastal line of the country while the latest date is anticipated to be around 29th June in the northernmost parts of the country.
“However, later-than-normal onset dates are expected over a few places such as parts of Lagos, Ogun, Kebbi and Niger States.
He stated that “the earliest cessation date is around 9th October 2021, is expected around Katsina and the northern parts of Sokoto while the latest cessation date is expected on the 25th December 2021 over the Niger-Delta region. Generally, Cessation dates are predicted to be relatively normal in most places except for a few places where cessation dates are expected to be a little earlier or later than normal.
“The 2021 length of the growing season is expected to span between 110 days in the extreme north and over 300 days in the south. Most places are expected to have their usual length of the season, however, a few places such as Lagos and the FCT are likely to have a shorter length of the season, differing by a few days (about 5 – 14 days),” the Minister stated.
(Source: NIGERIAN TRIBUNE)