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Early-Maturing Crops Key to Food Security, Experts Advise Farmers

By Grace Samuel

The Institute for Agricultural Research at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, has issued crucial guidance for farmers in the North West region.

Executive Director Prof. Ado Yusuf emphasized the importance of planting early-maturing seed varieties in response to the 2024 rainfall predictions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).

According to Prof. Yusuf, NIMET’s forecast for the 2024 wet season predicts drier conditions than usual, with a few states expecting early rainfall.

He noted the likelihood of a delayed onset of the rainy season in many northern states and urged farmers to adjust their planting schedules accordingly.

Prof. Yusuf highlighted the potential for an extended dry spell, particularly in the northern states, and advised farmers to be cautious about when they start planting to avoid the need for replanting.

He also mentioned NIMET’s prediction of early cessation of rainfall in many areas, stressing the importance of selecting short-duration crops and diversifying agricultural activities to adapt to these conditions.

Moreover, Prof. Yusuf pointed out that North Central states, known for their root and tuber crops, may face similar challenges. He suggested that these farmers diversify with cereals due to the anticipated short duration of the rainy season.

He also stressed the importance of adopting moisture conservation techniques, such as using ridges, for farmers in the North Western states to mitigate the potential challenges outlined in the forecast.

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