Cowpea: Foundation advises farmers on new planting window
The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) has advised farmers on newly identified suitable planting windows for cowpea for the different ecologies in the country.
Mr Alex Abutu, Communicaton Officer, AATF, made this known on Sunday in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Dr Jean Baptist, AATF Regional Representative for West Africa said during a visit to Pandagric Farms in Nasarawa, that the windows would enable farmers cope with the vulnerabilities of climate change.
He said the Cowpea Field in Panda was part of the dry season cowpea production being introduced by AATF to ensure the variety produces at its maximum in the absence of insect pressure and other climate vulnerabilities.
Baptist said the impact of climate change results in either too much or too little rainfall.
According to him, this makes it difficult for beans to produce at its maximum potential thereby leaving Nigerian farmers miserable during harvest.
“After a careful study of the situation, we have come to the understanding that because farmers are not guided on when to plant, the crop productivity is often interrupted by climate uncertainties.
“The rainfall pattern for the country is not uniformed and each year comes with its own surprises; so, it is important for farmers to be accurately guided,” he said.
He noted that in the last few years, farmers have been suffering from several uncertainty associated with the rainfall pattern which has greatly reduced cowpea productivity.
He said that when the rain is too much, cowpea farms were submerged as a result of flash flood.
“Also, when the rains end suddenly, drought sets in at a time that the crop needed enough water,” he said.
He advised cowpea farmers to take advantages of identified planting windows which was carefully arrived at after studying the weather pattern in the last few years.
He said that farmers in the Sahel region comprising Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Katsina and Sokoto states should endeavor to plant from the 3rd and 4th week of June.
“While those in the Sudan Savannah region Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Yoba and Borno states should plant from the 1st to 2nd week of July, ” Baptist advised.
He equally urged those in the Northern Guinea Savannah states such as Bauchi, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano and Zamfara to commence planting from the 3rd week of July to 1st week of August.
Those in Southern Guinea Savannah in Niger, Kwara, Abuja, Adamawa, Taraba and Gombe have the 1st to 3rd week of August to plant.
He said: “After two years in the hands of farmers, some farmers have taken advantages of the prolific nature of the Pod Borer Resistant Cowpea to undertake two planting season.”
According to statistics from the Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, the PBR Cowpea is the most sought after cowpea variety in the country currently.
The variety is most preferred by farmers due to its early maturing quality, use of less chemical spray, high yielding, and high folder production. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Benson Ezugwu/Maureen Atuonwu