The National Coordinator, Commodity Association of Nigeria, Dr Tunde Arosanyin, has urged farmers to resist the temptation of rushing into planting, following the early rainfall in some parts of the country.
Arosanyin who gave the warning in Abuja, said that rushing to plant crops following the downpour in February and March in some states could lead to losses at the end of such the exercise.
He advised farmers to exercise patience up till the end of March when steady rainfall would have been established to sustain the survival of crops in the heat that might follow the early rainfall.
“Any farmer intending to or has gone into planting because of the early rainfall is doing that at great risk because the heat expected to follow the rainfall in a few weeks may be very destructive to plants.
“The right time to go into full farming should be around the end of March when the danger of intense heat would have been overcome with enough water from constant rainfall.
“The rain that falls now may stop any time for about three or four weeks, and if the plants have already grown and the leaves that are already formed have no more water, then there will be a problem.
“So, that is why we advise farmers to wait until the rains are steady,” Arosanyin said.
He said that although, the rain pattern might shift to the advantage of early planting due to climate change, it could not be guaranteed.
He said that any farmer that wished to take the risk should not cultivate a large farmland in order to minimise losses.
“Like the northern states, their major rainy season starts between June and July to November. Same thing happens in different parts of the country.”
Arosanyin also advised farmers to always wait for prediction from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for proper guide.
He also called on NIMET to translate the prediction into three local languages to enable the rural farmers to have the necessary information about weather, especially those who do not understand English.