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North West Farmers Advised to Plant Early Maturing Seed Varieties for 2024 Rainy Season, Institute for Agricultural Research Suggests

Institute advises North West farmers on strategies for 2024 rainy season

The Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, has issued advice to farmers in North West Nigeria, urging them to plant early maturing seed varieties in compliance with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) predictions for the 2024 rainy season.

Speaking to journalists in Zaria on Monday, Professor Ado Yusuf, Executive Director of the Institute, gave the advice, noting that NIMET had predicted that the 2024 wet season would be dryer than normal, with a few states experiencing early rainfall and most states in the north encountering late rainfall.

Yusuf explained that the first rain was different from the onset of the season, and based on the predictions, there may be a dry spell which could extend beyond two weeks, particularly in the northern states.

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“Farmers should delay a little before they commence planting until it is well established to avoid replanting; it was also predicted that there will be early cessation of rainfall in so many places,” he said.

“In some places, the last rain may come around the first or second week of October, which means the length of the rainy season is short, so farmers should go for short duration crops.’’

The official added that the North-Central States that produce roots and tubers may also experience similar challenges, and farmers in the area should adopt diversification.

Yusuf said since the duration of the rain is going to be short, farmers in the north central states should diversify with cereals.

The director advised farmers, particularly in the North-Western states, to adopt moisture conservation techniques such as ridges, and avoid zero or minimal tillage. He also strongly recommended that farmers avoid long ridges, and recommends enclosures for water retention.

The predictions hinted at hot temperatures, and livestock farmers should get a lot of water for their farmers, especially poultry farmers.

The advice from the Institute for Agricultural Research comes as farmers across the country prepare for the 2024 rainy season, with many looking for guidance on how to best prepare for the expected weather conditions.

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By planting early maturing seed varieties, farmers can ensure that their crops are able to mature and be harvested before the onset of the dry spell, reducing the risk of crop failure and the need for replanting.

In addition, diversification can help farmers to mitigate the impact of the expected short rainy season, allowing them to plant a variety of crops that are better suited to the predicted weather conditions.

Moisture conservation techniques such as ridges can also help to ensure that crops have access to sufficient water during the dry spell, reducing the risk of water stress and crop failure.

Livestock farmers are also advised to take steps to ensure that their animals have access to sufficient water during the hot temperatures, with poultry farmers in particular urged to take extra care to ensure that their birds do not suffer from heat stress.

In conclusion, the Institute for Agricultural Research’s advice provides valuable guidance for farmers in North West Nigeria as they prepare for the 2024 rainy season. By following these recommendations, farmers can increase their chances of success and reduce the risk of crop failure and livestock losses.

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