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Preparing for 2023 Agricultural Season: Suggestions for Farmers

As the rains begin to fall across the nation, farmers are preparing for planting season.

The 2023 farming season is here, and it presents a significant opportunity for farmers to boost their earnings and contribute to the nation’s food security.

Yet, it is crucial to approach the season with prudence and to take the required precautions to assure farming success.

Warning of Planting with Early Rains

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has warned that more than 25.3 million Nigerians may experience severe food insecurity from June to August 2023.

Consequently, ensuring food security by preventing crop loss is essential.

Farmers are advised not to begin planting soon upon the onset of precipitation.

Early planting exposes crops to dry spells, resulting in yield loss over time.

The Executive Director of the National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI) in Badeggi, Niger State, Dr Aliyu Umar, warned farmers against early planting, stating that the first rain is the time for farmers to begin clearing their fields, not planting crops.

Benefits of Irrigated Farming

Irrigation farming offers substantial opportunities for year-round food production and farmer employment.

It also empowers farmers to regulate the water supply to their crops.

Hence, if a farmer wants to begin farming at this time, they must invest in irrigated farming in the event that the early rain does not continue.

The Nigerian Agericultural & Rural Development Secretariat established an irrigation committee to increase productivity in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The purpose of the committee is to investigate strategies to encourage more farmers to engage in year-round agriculture, not just during the dry season.

What Farmers Must Do During the Wait

While waiting for the rains to stabilise, farmers must begin clearing their fields by uprooting stumps and last year’s crop leftovers.

In addition, they should begin purchasing farm inputs such as seeds, herbicides, insecticides, and appropriate equipment.

Earlier preparation of financial strategies for loans and grants would provide farmers more options in the event of uncertainty.

It is crucial to approach the season with caution and to take the appropriate precautions to avoid crop loss.

To achieve year-round food production, farmers must heed the caution against early planting and adopt irrigation farming.

Writing by Muzha Kucha; Editing by Saadatu Albashir