By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Concerns have heightened in Minna and environs especially amongst farmers and other residents over imminent drought as the rainfalls this year have been scanty half year into the year and about three months after the first stanzas of rains were usually expected.
This year’s rains have been poor, inconsistent and unevenly spread as many a farmers in several parts of the state have not began cropping yet half way into the month of June when crops should have been blossoming, lurch green at period like this in years past.
The poor rainfall patterns have affected not only crops planted such as maize and other cereals but even grasses, weeds and other shrubs are withering steadily by the day as the hot, humid weather have persisted for months.
In a chat with an agronomist and consultant to several big term farm settlements in parts of the state, Gimba Mohammed, said the delay and poor rainfall pattern in the state was as a result change in atmospheric configurations following devastating effects of the depletion of the ozone layers from negative human activities.
Gimba said the continuous consequences of such human activities across many parts of the world would continue to impact on weather, rainfalls, winds dispersals and movements, seasonal patterns and general atmospheric conditions.
He blamed the scanty rainfall patterns this year to the global greenhouse effects on global warming, depletion of the ozone layers and change in rainfall patterns across the world.
On the consequences of the poor rainfall patterns, Gimba said it portends ominous signs of possible shortage in food and cash crop production by farmers in many states of the north where the impacts of poor rainfall are heavier.
The rains have been scanty, sparse in some places and almost dry in the state capital especially.
In most parts of the state capital and environs as Bosso, Maitumbi, Maikunkele, Kampalla, Pago, Kampani and Paiko areas, farmers have not really got down to their usual boisterous farm activies at mid year period is.
The poor rainfall has affected vegetations including grasses, shrubs and other weeds which are whithering even as farmers who had planted earlier in anticipation that the rainfalls would steady last month are now apprehensive of imminent drought should the rains fail to come any time from now onwards.
Our correspondent in Minna reports that the development has led to fears and supplications in places of worship for divine intervention to avert a possible food shortage in the coming years.
This year’s raining season has been characterized by heavy dark cloud formation which are however most times disperse against high expectations for heavy downpour.
Most owners of small scale, mixed farms behind residences have resorted to manual watering of their crops from water sourced from wells where available on such crops as maize, yams and other vegetables to stem droughts and dryness.
Last week, the state government flagged-off the public sales of fertilizer to farmers in Minna, the state capital and directed that the commodity be sold to buyers at an officially subsidized rate of N5,000 per bag.
The state government had said earlier that it had procured over 15,000 metric tonnes of fertilizers for resale to farmers in the state.
But observers are worried over the poor rainfall patterns this year because many farmers have not sowed or planted yet in June.
Last year, despite the early onsets of the rains, most crops planted were devoured by soldier warms which invaded farmlands and eat up crops that were sprouting and blooming thus forcing many farmers to plant twice or more as the rains later steadied.