Arewa Voice

October 22, 2021

Northern farmers face poor harvest as drought blights early farming

Hunger looms, as drought hits Kano rice farmers

Farmers have lost two-thirds of what we planted this season

Govt focusing on adoption of climate smart agricultural practices — KSADP

By Abdulmumin Murtala

AS Kano State and many in the North continue to wait for rainfal, farmers have been recording poor crop harvests especially of rice and other grains, which rely on water for bumper yields. Rice which requires consistent water supply, has been left without the usual daily rainfalls for several weeks and the plants are drying out.

In areas where the farms are located close to water sources such as rivers, ponds and boreholes, farmers have adopted these water sources to irrigate their farms, a very unusual sight during the wet season. An unestimated amount of loss has so far been compiled in the affected farm areas where food crops have dried up due to lack of water.

Chairman of Tudun Wada Rice Farmers Association in Kano, Malam Husaini Muhammad, told Arewa Voice that they are already losing about two-thirds of their produce to insufficient rainfall and are not likely to harvest the remaining one-third of what they planted.

He said: “We are faced with a lot of challenges this season. There is acute scarcity of water due to lack of rain. From what we have estimated, we have lost two-thirds of what we planted this season. It is only one-third that we are hoping to harvest if we are lucky.

Even what is remaining presently, we have to be pumping water from a nearby village through channels to water what has remained in our farms. Presently there are even places where there is no water at all and they are likely to lose everything.

“In addition to this, there are no good tools in the hands of the farmers for watering the farms. It is only God that can save the situation. The ultimate is that we are going to lose two-thirds of what we have planted because they have all dried up and there is not enough water to revive them. This is definitely going to affect the price of the product subsequently.

Already the price has started rising because the quantity of the one already harvested is not much.”

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Another farmer, Malam Ahmad Kura, said that the price of agricultural commodities will definitely rise as rainfall dries up. He said: “The losses encountered due to lack of rainfall this season will make the price of rice to rise. We have prayed for rain and are continuing to pray so that we can get something to reduce the loss we are facing. Even at present what we have harvested that was sold at N12,000 to N13,000 to the millers is now being sold at 16,000.”

Responding to the threat, the Project Coordinator, Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project, Malam Ibrahim Garba Muhammad, assured that they will be adopting climate-smart agricultural practices to deal with the situation subsequently. He said: “Machinery aimed at reducing the impact of climate change on our agricultural practices are going to be pursued.”

Malam Ibrahim observed that policy makers in Kano are desirous of seeing rapid results especially in the agricultural sector, hence the need for more proactive implementation of the KSADP crop intervention programmes, which aims to improve food and nutrition security.

The coordinator said: “Thirty six percent or so of the over one million expected beneficiaries of KSADP are crops farmers, whom our partner, Sasakawa Africa Association, SAA, is expected to impact, through our collaboration. Therefore, they have a serious challenge to effect change in our agricultural sector.

“The adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices and technologies, by KSADP, an Islamic Development Bank and LLF funded project, is very important for sustainable agriculture in Kano, in view of the current changes in climatic conditions. All over the world, countries are experiencing climate change which is causing reduction in rainfall and by implication, reduction in agricultural productivity”.

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