The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMeT) has urged Nigerian farmers to start preparing for the rainfall early by acquiring inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.
The agency added that planting should be delayed where an early dry spell is expected.
The meteorological agency gave advice when presenting its seasonal rainfall and temperature forecast for 2022, which guides farmers at the start of the agricultural season.
Presenting the report, NiMet’s chief executive, Professor Mansur Bako Matazu, said farmers should strive to plant drought-resistant varieties.
“The earliest start of the planting season, the start of planting activities is expected around February 28, 2022 in the coastal parts of the country while the onset of rains is expected between April and May in the central states and, possibly between June and July. in the northern states. The start of the planting season is expected to be normal in most parts of Nigeria with a few areas having it earlier while others will see it delayed.
“Precipitation end dates for most parts of the country in 2022 are expected to be near long-term average conditions. The window between start and end dates can be considered safe periods for planting various crops by their cropping calendars.
“The growing season is expected to last between 250 and 300 days in the south of the country and 100 to 200 days in the north. Of note are areas around Kwara, Oyo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Benue, Bayelsa and Rivers which are likely to experience a shorter than normal growing season length. However, an extended length of the growing season is expected in parts of Plateau, Kaduna, Edo and Imo.
“The use of small-scale water-harvesting systems, such as ditches, is recommended for farmers in areas where dry spells or below-normal rainfall are expected,” the report said.
He said, however, that the expected length of the 2022 growing season is expected to significantly benefit most arable crops planted in northern and southern Nigeria.
He revealed that so far, agricultural inputs and quality seeds have been distributed.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, who represented the Minister of Agriculture of Osun State, distributed agricultural inputs for seasonal farming to smallholder farmers in Osogbo, Osun State. Items include: 3,000 oil palm seedlings, 1,500 kg of cashew seeds; 20,000 yams from our certified seed as well as 200 liters of pathaway organic growth activators. The others are: 4,000 bunches of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes; 3000 bunches of cassava stalks as well as various agricultural equipment and biochemicals, ginger, sesame in the north and cocoa, oil palm grown in the southern mangroves and rainforest areas should also thrive well in places like Delta, Rives, Ondo, Cross Rivers and Edo.
According to the report, farmers should store feed in a dry place, saying hay is susceptible to mold if it gets wet. He also urged herders to keep silage away from rain and surface water runoff to avoid clumping, and to ensure animals are not left standing on wet ground for long periods of time. disinfect their feet using footbaths to kill bacteria.
He further urged herders to do water balances early, based on their experiences.
with the water suppliers in their region. State how much water is available and how many animals in stock will be needed.
He said the expected high temperature during the hot season is likely to have negative impacts on the health and performance of pets in general. To say that poultry farming will be the most affected and the effect of stress caused by high temperatures and high humidity can lead to heavy economic losses due to increased mortality and reduced productivity.
“The warmer than long-term average temperature expected in the months of January, March and April could likely affect the feed intake of the layers and the reduction in egg production and increase the mortality rate. Farmers are advised to regularly rehydrate their poultry. Ventilate their enclosures to ensure good sanitation and other good poultry management practices.
“The design of the poultry pen should consider weather parameters and reduce stocking density during the stress period. House young chicks under controlled temperatures. Never leave standing water in poultry houses, as this serves as breeding grounds for pathogenic bacteria, fungi, etc.
But for fish farmers, the report says most of the country is likely to experience long-term average rainfall, which the report says could create an environment conducive to breeding parasites and overflowing fish ponds.
He therefore urged the farmers to dredge mud and weeds from the pond in a bid to make it deeper to retain plenty of water during the rainy season. Adding that the farmer should plant trees to provide adequate shade around the pond to maintain optimum temperature and that the ponds should be cleaned frequently during high temperature periods.