Sirika Pegs Feb 28 As Start Of Farming Season

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Maize farmers
Farmers planting maize.

The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has pegged the farming season for the year to begin on February 28, 2022, especially in the coastal parts of the country.

He gave this prediction during the seasonal climate prediction (SCP) of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMeT), themed “Strengthening Climate Actions through Timely and Impact-based Climate Prediction for Economic Recovery” yesterday in Abuja, saying rainfall is expected between April and May in the central states and, eventually, between June and July in the northern states.

According to him, the onset of the planting season is predicted to be normal over most parts of Nigeria, with a few areas having it earlier and others delayed. 

“Rainfall cessation dates across most parts of the county in 2022 is predicted to be near the long-term average conditions. The window between the onset and cessation dates can be regarded as safe periods for the planting of various crops according to their cropping calendars. The growing season is predicted to last between 250and 300 days in the southern parts of the country and 100 to 200 days in the north. Areas around Kwara, Oyo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Benue, Bayelsa and Rivers are likely to experience a growing season that is shorter than normal. However, prolonged length of the growing season is anticipated in parts of Plateau, Kaduna, Edo and Imo. 

“For the annual total rainfall, the prediction indicates that the annual rainfall amount is expected to be normal in most parts of the country. The annual rainfall amount is expected to range from 390 mm in the north to over 2790 mm in the south. Annual rainfall, ranging from 390 mm to 790mm, is anticipated in some parts of Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Katsina and Sokoto states. The central states such as Nasarawa, Taraba, Kogi, Benue and the FCT, as well as Ekiti, Osun and Oyo are anticipated to record 1190 mm to 1590 mm of total rainfall,” he said. 

The minister further said that from May to August 2022 dry spells of different degrees of severity ranging from mild to severe, are predicted for different parts of the country, adding that moderate dry spells may persist for up to 15 days over parts of Adamawa, Benue, Kogi, Ekiti, Kwara, Niger, FCT, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi and Gombe. Parts of Kebbi, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe, Borno, Nasarawa and Plateau states may experience a severe dry spell that could persist for up to 20 days or longer in June 2022.

Earlier, NiMeT director-general, Prof. Mansur Matazu, said the SCP is one of the agency’s flagship products, an invaluable tool that has helped lots of farmers improve their yields.

“It has also helped increase and improve the level of preparedness by emergency management agencies, complement the flood prediction by Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) and served as an advisory tool for many stakeholders at the federal, state and local government levels,” he added.

Oluchi Okorafor
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