The National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI) has warned farmers not to rush into planting with the first rain, claiming that crops planted with the first rain typically become roasted as a result of the heat caused by rain stoppage.
Dr. Aliyu Umar, Executive Director of NCRI, issued the warning while speaking with journalists at the institute’s headquarters in Badeggi, Niger State, advising farmers to be patient for another rain before planting their crops to avoid losses.
Umar warned that any farmer who wants to use this first rain to plant crops should ensure the storage of enough water to wet their crops in case the rain does not continue as predicted.
NCRI Develops Two Flood-Resistant Rice Varieties
He noted that though the early rains across the country is a good development for agricultural sector, It does not mean farmers should commence planting immediately, it only means that they should prepare the ground and start planning ahead of the full rainy season.
“It is not advisable to plant with the first rain, but farmers should prepare their farms ahead. The first rain means it is time for crop farmers to start clearing their farms, not to plant crops.
Govt Introduces New Policy to Improve Rice Cultivation
In addition to that, he also encouraged farmers to practice mixed cropping to enable them to minimize loss, save space, ensure an increase in overall productivity, and manage scarce land resources to their maximum potential.
The NCRI boss implored farmers to ensure they purchase their improved seeds and other farm inputs from reputable sources to avoid wasting their money on adulterated inputs, which have been on the rise in markets.
According to him, farmers can rest assured that the institute will continue to provide quality seeds to boost agricultural production and food security in the country.