Bala Abdullahi, the Coordinator, N2 Africa Project(West Africa) of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture(IITA), has cautioned northern farmers against planting theirÂ crops now.
â€œThe season is not yet ripe for that exercise,â€ Bala told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Kano.
He said that although rainfalls were witnessed in some areas up north, it was still not proper for the farmers to plant their crops at this time as the rains would still cease to fall for a short while.
â€œIn some places we had four, five or six incidences of rain and therefore farmers are under a lot of pressure, especially given the fact that in some places we have had predictions that the rains would beÂ short.Â “So there is a lot of pressure, but such pressure must be resisted,â€™â€™ he said.
He pointed out that it was not unusual for the rains to come early, and that usually when that happened, the rains would still cease for a short while, and resume later.
Abdullahi, who is an Inoculants Delivery Specialist, therefore advised the farmers to plant their crops in the second week of June, when the rainy season would have become established.
He said that farmers, who had already planted their crops because of the early rains, might experience short drought because of the expected cessation of the rains, and their plants could suffer.
The expert counseled the farmers, especially those in the semi_arid areas of the region, to plant early_maturing crop varieties such as maize, sorghum, millet and cowpea, in case the rains ceased early.
He said, they should plant these species of crops from the second week of June, saying that the step would protect them against complete crop failure as a result of the stoppage of the rains.