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May 27, 2024

Varsity Don Urges Farmers to Plant Early-maturing Crops in Compliance With NIMET Predictions for 2024 Rainy Season

Prof. Ado Yusuf, Executive Director, Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Yusuf has advised farmers in North-West to plant early-maturing seed varieties in compliance with the NIMET predictions for 2024 rainy season.

Yusuf speaking to journalists during  an interview with the press on Tuesday in Zaria, urged farmers to purchase improved seeds and offer good management of their farms for better results,

He further disclosed that soil testing reduces costs of fertiliser application and production as well as keeping the environment healthy.

He said that the institute made the finding in a research jointly conducted in 2023 with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on climate smart agriculture in some parts of Kaduna State.

His words: “Part of the rule of the project was that one cannot apply fertiliser without knowing the content of the soil fertility test result.

“At the end of the project, it was discovered that farmers who took part in the project were applying more fertiliser than necessary and fertiliser application was cut by one third and we got the same yield.’’

The director said the quantity of fertiliser usually applied to the farms was reduced by one third as a result of the test.

Yusuf said the finding had reduced the cost of the fertiliser to be applied on the farms.

“A soil fertility test result is usually valid for three years and it helps to keep the environment healthy by regulating nutrient requirements of farmlands.”

The academic, however, lamented that the percentage of farmers that conducted soil tests in Nigeria was very insignificant.

He commended some agro-allied companies that developed mobile laboratories for soil fertility tests which served as incentives for the farmers to buy their products.

“The companies go to the farms; conduct tests and recommend the fertiliser to be applied; this is commendable.”

He said that based on the prediction, there might be a dry spell which might extend beyond two weeks, especially in the northern states.

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

“In some places, last rain may come around the first or second week of October; which means the length of the rainy season is short.

“Farmers should go for short duration crops,’’ he cautioned.

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