Dry season farming should become the thrust of agricultural policy of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture if the country aims at becoming a leading agric producing nation, according to the Executive Director of National Center for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM) Ilorin, Kwara State, Dr. Yomi Kasali.
Kasali said inconsistency in weather conditions and increase in ecological disasters have made raining season farming a great risk for over 90 per cent of the nation’s farmers.
Besides, he said poor road networks linking various agric locations across Nigeria with agro-allied industries during the wet season is a major factor responsible for a huge waste in agric produce.
The NCAM boss disclosed this at the Certificates Award Ceremony for 50 beneficiaries, trained on methods of mitigating losses due to flooding. The two weeks intensive training held at the NCAM premises, was sponsored by a Legislator representing Okene/Ogori-Mangogo Federal Constituency, Kogi State, Yusuf Ahmed Tijani.
“The age-long elementary belief and teaching in our schools that raining season starts in March and ends in November, is no longer a reliable index for agricultural practices in Nigeria and many other West African countries.
“Even where the index is accurate, the break during the season is often challenging leading to acute drought and destruction of already planted crops and seedlings. It is high time we started focusing on dry season farming because what we experience at the peak of raining season is nothing but flooding. Agric practices don’t flourish under this condition,” he said.
While urging the graduands to use the experience garnered at the programme to turn the raining season into a period to replenish the wells and dams, he added that predictable farming would be feasible during the dry season if such steps are taken.
Besides, he said huge profits could be made by farmers who practice farming during dry season than during raining period.
Starter packs were later distributed to the participants as take-off tools for the pragmatic implementation of the acquired skills.