A lecturer in the Department of Crop Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Michael Uguru, has warned farmers in Nsukka and its environs not to begin cultivation with the early rains in the year.
Uguru, who gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Nsukka on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, said that it was a great risk for any farmer to go into cultivation for the new farming season without having a water reservoir in his farm.
“Farmers should not start planting crops because of Monday night rain unless the farmer has stored water in tanks in his farm to water crops if it did not rain very soon.
“Without water, planted crops may roast in the ground or have stunted growth because of heat,’’ the don said.
“The warning has become necessary as some farmers in the past suffered losses, when their crops roasted crops because they rushed into planting without allowing rain to penetrate deeply into the soil.
“Crops need water to grow well and yield good harvest.
“If you have stored water in your farm, you can go ahead and start planting, even if the rain did not fall very soon, you can use your stored water to water your crops,” he said.
He urged farmers, who did not store water to use the period of the early rain to clear the bush and do other pre-planting work until the rains set in fully.
Uguru said that for Nigeria to achieve food security, farmers must have access to water irrigation in their farms across the federation.
He added that water irrigation would enable farmers to engage in all season farming in the country.
“For Nigeria to achieve food security and export more food items to other countries, farmers must have access to water irrigation.
“With irrigation, a farmer will longer depend on rainfall to plant crops but can plant and harvest in all seasons.
“As water is very important to human being so also it is important to the crops,” Uguru said.
By Hilary Akalugwu