It has now been two weeks without rain in Funtua, Danja, Bakori, Kankara and parts of Katsina State; a situation that caused anxiety among farmers whose crops had not yet reached maturity.
According to the farmers, there was a variety of soybeans that required a lot of moisture to produce fruit; Sorghum and beans also need moisture to give the desired results.
Shu’aibu Bala from Majema region to Danja LGA noted that the rainfall never stopped in September.
“What we’re used to is that the rainfall stops either the first week or mid-October and if we’re lucky it can even extend until the end of the month. If the rain really stopped in September as reported now, then many farmers will suffer and the food crisis could worsen, ”he said.
Bala added that the new soybeans now cost N 40,000 per 100 kg bag and that the majority of the produce had not yet been harvested and about to be destroyed due to the early end of the rains.
Another farmer and agricultural expert, Usman Abdullahi Hunkuyi, said that although the rains resume in October, damage has already been caused to the majority of farms in the region.
“Beans, especially those from upland farms, need enough moisture to flower and germinate, just like sorghum which is currently in the fruiting phase; its yield will surely decrease with the lack of precipitation. Soybeans are the most affected because at the seed stage, it needs enough moisture to make milk which will eventually turn into seeds. Where there is no rainfall, the seeds will become so small, ”said Abdullahi Hunkuyi.
He advised that bean and soybean farms that are near river banks should be watered mechanically to avoid undue losses by farmers.
Meanwhile, there has been a bumper crop of rice and corn in the area. Our reporter who toured some markets observed that there was paddy rice in Bakori and Funtua markets and buyers from different parts of the country and beyond were seen buying the product in bulk for supply to rice processing factories.