Dr Aliyu Umar, Executive Director, National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, Niger State has advised farmers not to rush into planting with the first rain.
He gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bida on Monday. He explained that this was because crops planted with the first rain might become roasted as a result of heat, if the rain did not continue.
The NCRI executive director said to prevent losses, farmers should wait for another rain before planting their crops.
He described the early rains across the country as good, but cautioned farmers not to rush into planting.
“If any farmer wants to use this first rain to plant, such farmer should ensure the storage of enough water to water their crops if the rain did not continue. It is not advisable to plant with the first rain, but farmers should prepare their farms ahead of the rainy and planting season.”
Umar added that, “First rain means it is time for crop farmers to start clearing their farms but not to plant crops. It does not mean they should commence planting immediately, it only means that they should prepare the ground and start planning ahead of the full rainy season.”
He also advised farmers to embrace mixed cropping due to its advantages, “I want to advise farmers to plant mixture of crops so that in the event of anything, the loss will be minimal.”
He urged farmers to purchase farming inputs from reputable sources to avoid wasting their money on adulterated inputs, which have been on the increase in markets.
The executive director assured that the NCRI would continue to provide quality seeds to boost agricultural production and food security in the country.