Monday, September 27, 2021

Early rains: Do not go for planting yet, NiMet warns farmers

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Following the rains experienced in and around the central states on Sunday and Monday night, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, has warned farmers against early planting.

Some places around the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have experienced heavy rainfall since Sunday night.

A response by NiMet to the enquiry on the implication of the rains, disclosed that the occurrence was normal during transition period leading to rainy season.

An official of NiMet, who pleaded anonymity, said the rains did not signal the beginning of the rainy season, adding that the agency would talk to the public on 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction by first week of March.

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“Farmers should use this period for land clearing but not planting as the active season is yet to establish,” the official said.

Some of the farmers expressed the hope that the rains could signal the beginning of rainy season but pointed out that it could not be suitable for planting.

A farmer in the FCT, Shedrach Shegaje, said that planting with the current rains could be dangerous because of past experience.

Mr Shegaje added that the situation could also lead to early onset of rainy season, saying farmers should begin to clear their farm lands.

The Director-General of NiMet, Sani Mashi, had recently disclosed that the mixture of harmattan and heat being experienced over the central part of Nigeria could lead to early rainfall in the region in 2018.

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Mr Mashi, professor, said the oscillation of Inter Tropical Divide, ITD, within the central region resulting from the meeting of south-westerly and north-easterly air masses would lead to early rains.

He described ITD as the point where the Southwesterly air mass and north-easterly air mass meet.

“Wherever the two major air masses meet, we will have rain.

“The harmattan has become shorter because the south westerly air mass is already overpowering north easterly air mass over Central Northern Nigeria.
“So, the implication of this is that we are likely to have early commencement of rain within Central Northern Nigeria,’’ he said.

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