Farmers in the North – Central and Taraba have narrated different experiences from the effects of irregular rainfall patterns on harvest during the 2021 farming season, as the cropping season rolls to an end.
In a survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the zone, some of the farmers said the rains impacted on their crops positively as they were already recording bumper harvest.
Others, however, submitted that the rains had ceased too early, which made them to experience poor yields.
Experts are of the view that the irregular rainfall patterns which subsequently affect harvest in these parts of the country can also be attributed to the global problem of climate change.
In Benue, it was a joyous note as farmers said that the rainfall recorded in the state in the 2021 planting season affected their crops positively and had led to a bumper harvest for most.
One of them is Mrs Mbaoron Tyoakaa, a yam farmer, who said that the rainfall impacted positively on her crops.
“I am yet to commence full harvesting of my crops but I am sure that I will have better yields at the end of the day.
“I have harvested only a small portion and the harvest is good,” Tyoakaa said excitedly.
Another grower, Mr Terdue Ijir, a soybean farmer, said that he had very good harvest from the 2021 cropping season.
“I have harvested all the soybean that I planted; though I am yet to thrash it but I know that I will get more bags when compared to the 2020 harvest.
“I am grateful to God for the harvest because he provided us with enough rainfall,” Ijir said.
A farmer who grows both soybean and rice, Mr Titus Atondu, said that the bumper harvest experienced by farmers in the state had also affected the price of their yields.
Atondu said that before the bumper harvest, a 28 – kilogramme bag of soybean was sold for N35,000 but now it is N28,000.
“Also, a 28kg bag of rice was sold for 32,000 and some N30,000 but now it is sold for N25,000 and N24,000 respectively for same size of bag,” he said.
The Director, Agricultural Services in the state, Mr Thomas Unongo also commented.
Unongo said that farmers in the state were given seeds that could withstand drought and all types of infections, and that helped them to have bumper harvest.
“They were also given water resistant crops and they planted, so, no matter the amount of rainfall, they will still have bountiful harvest.
“Most farmers in the state will have bumper harvest because most of them applied the ”Good Agronomic Practices,” he said.
Similarly, farmers in Taraba have expressed delight over the bumper harvest recorded in the 2021 cropping season due to the steady rainfall enjoyed in the state throughout the season.
Those of them who spoke with NAN in Jalingo noted that the rains had very positive impact on their crops during the season.
Among them was Mr Simon Ijir, a rice farmer, who said that the rainfall which lasted up till November had resulted in bumper harvest for him and other farmers in the state.
“This cropping season is exceptional because there has been steady rainfall that led to a bumper harvest for many crops,” Ijir said.
He, however, lamented that the bumper harvest did not cause a drop in prices of foodstuff in the state due to the current inflationary trend in the country.
Equally, Alhaji Aliyu Suleiman, a maize farmer, said that the adequate rainfall had put smiles on the faces of farmers as it resulted to greater yields of many crops.
According to Suleiman, even the beans that he normally mixes with maize has done exceedingly well due to steady rainfall witnessed during the cropping season.
Mrs Mary Aso, a beniseed farmer, said the steady rainfall had helped greatly in enhancing bumper harvest in 2021.
Dr David Kassa, the Taraba Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said that farmers of various crops had reported bumper harvest in the state.
According to Kassa, the rainfall starts on time and continues till November, saying the situation has made high yield of crops possible in the state.
He urged farmers to reserve a portion of the crops for their consumption against the rising inflation in the country.
In Kogi, a farmer, Mr Wale Oloruntoba, said farmers in the state had also recorded bumper harvest.
According to Oloruntoba, everything they planted such as Beniseed, beans, yam, soybeans and groundnuts, yielded very well, adding that guinea corn too has been growing well.
”We thank God for the level of rainfall this year because as farmers, we have experienced bumper harvest of crops such as yam, soya beans, maize and beniseed,” he said.
Mrs Esther Audu, the National President, Women in Agriculture Cooperative Federation Ltd. told NAN that rainfall had impacted positively on farm produce and food items in the 2021 cropping season.
Audu said that under normal circumstances, the impact of the rains on the cost of food would have been great and favourable.
However, she said that the reverse was the case, because farmers could not cultivate much crops because of the fear of attacks by herdsmen and kidnappers.
”So, there is not much difference in the cost of food,” Audu said. (NAN)