By Fatima Muraina
Irrigation and mulching of planted crops have been identified as a necessity for food sufficiency following the prediction of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for 2021 raining pattern.
The Head of Department, Meteorology and Climatic Science, School of Sciences, Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Prof. Ahmed Balogun gave this advise while reacting on this year’s rain pattern in a chat with The Hope in Akure.
Prof. Balogun who described this year as good for agricultural practices, said there is going to be more rainfalls, but a longer dry spell period and advised that a back-up irrigation must be put in place as well as mulching of the planted crops.
His words: “anybody aspiring to go into farming this year must be ready to back it up with irrigation because there will be longer dry spell.”
” The rain pattern is okay, but you must be prepared to back up during the long spell because we cannot turn the hands of nature but to take precautionary measures”
He said people should mulch the whole area planted so that the amount of evaporation lost would be limited and still reserve more soil moisture to feed planted crops.
He added that people should always comply with the directives to avert flooding and that implies that they should desist from building houses in flooded areas and stop blocking the drainages with refuse or the likes.
The Project Manager of Agroclimatology Department of the Ondo state Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Rufus Akeju, assured of prompt weather report as he said arrangement were in top gear to start weather guard in the state media establishments.
Akeju who declared for the commencement of farming operation, expressed joy that rain is getting steady for effective cultivation to take place.
” The Ozone layer had brought about climate change and makes it difficult and dangerous to go into early planting, but hopefully before the month ends, it will be more stable for effective cultivation,” he said.
He however, implored farmers to develop irrigation as an alternative source for rain during the long dry spell to ensure maximum food production and sufficiency this year.