Sokoto State Patners Bill Gates on Agriculture

Meteorological Agency, NiMet,
has advised farmers and
agriculturists in Nigeria to
supplement the expected water
stress with irrigation to enhance
crop production.
NiMet gave the advice in its
2016 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction,
SRP, presented to the public in
It would be recalled that the
agency had predicted late onset,
early cessation and lower-thannormal
rainfall across most parts
of the country in 2016.
The prediction indicated that
late onset and early cessation of
rainfall in and around Sokoto,
Yobe, Zamfara, Kaduna, Borno
and Adamawa States were likely
to create water stress leading to
reduction in production tonnage.
According to the prediction,
farmers and agriculturists need
to be aware of this important
item in the 2016 SRP and should
supplement with irrigation to
enhance crop development.
NiMet also advised that early
maturing and drought tolerant
crop varieties especially maize,
cowpea, sorghum and millet
be provided by the relevant
authorities at an affordable price.
It stated that Climate Smart
Agriculture, CSA, such as
the use of economic trees like
Gum Arabic, date palm, shear,
jatropha etc, for fencing should
be encouraged.
“Zero tillage, mulching and
other moisture conservation
techniques is strongly advised,’’
it added.
The prediction indicated that
warmer-than-normal conditions
in February, March and April
were expected to negatively
affect livestock production in the
affected areas.
It also stated that mortality rate
was expected to increase during
these months due to temperature
fluctuations, stressing that dayold
chicks might likely be most
According to NiMet, the drierthan-
normal conditions are
expected to create water stress in
small ponds, making animals to
go far in search of drinking water.
“In this regard, the use of
irrigation water bodies by the
animals is recommended and more
water should also be harvested in
various agricultural reservoirs and
dams in the country.
“Government should
encourage development of
ranches and fodder production
and grazing areas should be
properly and clearly marked out
to reduce the recurrent clashes
between herdsmen and farmers.
“Necessary vaccine should be
provided for animals due to likely
spread of diseases as a result of
predicted warmer conditions in
most parts of the country.
“Other advisories for
livestock operators include use
of improved breeds of chicken
(to be provided by local and
international agricultural
research organisations) for
better yields during the 2016
agricultural season,’’ it stated.
The SRP also indicated that fish production would likely
be adversely affected as a
result of warmer-than-normal
conditions, especially in the
coastal parts of the country.
It stated that the “high runoff”
predicted for some areas
might not favour artisanal fish
farming as food waters might
inundate and wash away the
fishes,” it added.
NiMet, however, urged
Aquaculture practitioners or
operators to take note of areas
predicted to have high run-offs
in order to avoid associated

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