By Mercy Omoike
Some environmentalists have called for the education of farmers for adaptation to the irregularities in the rainfall patterns, ahead of the 2024 planting season.The experts disclosed this in separate interviews on Friday, January 5, 2024, in Lagos.
Mr Gafar Odubote, the Network Coordinator, Let’s Do It World Africa Region, an environmental non-profit organisation, said farmers needed to be equipped with the right information on climate change to adapt to the changing rainfall patterns.
“Rainfall is vital to agriculture, as most crop cultivation is under a direct rain-fed farming system in Nigeria.These changing patterns entail early rainfall in some places and late in other places. It also means rainfall intensity will be higher in some places and low in others.
“However, the changing rain patterns have made it difficult for farmers to plan effectively with some adverse effects on the crop yield. Therefore, farmers and practitioners are required to pay close attention to climate change and implement some agricultural adaptation measures.
“Farmers should be ready to be flexible in their crop plantation and collaborate with other farmers to share resources. Local farmers must first be equipped with knowledge. They must learn about climate change and accept the fact that rainfall patterns cannot be regular,” Odubote said.
He also stressed the need for farmers to have a close relationship with the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet) for meteorological and climatological information in planning and operational activities.
“Local farmers must be equipped with the tools to create a healthy and resilient farm ecosystem. Farmers must evolve as the weather patterns change. From adopting resilient seeds to a proper irrigation system; they must be up-to-date with information and learn how farmers in the developed countries stabilise their yields,” he added.
On his part, Mr Olumide Idowu, a climate change expert and co-founder of the International Climate Change and Development Initiative (ICCDI), said the provision of adequate data for farmers was important for adaptation.
“It is essential to gather and analyse weather data, make use of climate models and forecasts, diversify crops and planting dates, and seek counsel from agricultural specialists on the changing rain patterns. Farmers will be able to make more educated judgements and better adjust to the changing conditions with the assistance of these tactics.
“The average local farmer should be equipped with essential tools and knowledge before embarking on crop cultivation this year. This includes understanding specific crop requirements, obtaining quality seeds, tools for land preparation, access to water sources or irrigation systems, and staying updated on modern farming practices.
“These preparations are crucial for a successful and productive crop cultivation season. Education on climate change and knowledge-sharing networks can help farmers acquire the latest research and best practices for adapting to changing rain patterns,” Idowu said. – EnviroNews