Here’s How You Can Increase Your Productivity This Planting Season
In tropical regions like Nigeria, where rain-fed agriculture thrives, the start and termination of the rainy season controls farming practices such as land preparation, crop variety selection, planting and harvesting. Much to the delight of farmers who are eager to get the planting season underway, parts of the country are already seeing the rains, heralding the start of the rainy season.
With Nigeria’s over 84 million hectares of arable land – of which only about 40% is cultivated, a population of about 180 million people – which makes her Africa’s largest market, 230 billion cubic meters of water, and abundant and reliable rainfall in over two-thirds of its territory, the country has some of the richest natural resources for agricultural production in the world.
Although Nigeria falls within the world’s tropical zone, there are wide rainfall disparities in the different regions of the country. The southern two-third of the country has a double peak in rainfall, whereas the northern third has a single peak. The Nigerian climate produces an extensive rainy season across the country, with rains beginning in the southern, coastal areas of the country from late February to early March and travelling north, reaching most areas by mid-year, with rain lasting up to September. While the northern part of the country typically sees the highest rainfall during August, the coastal areas see the most precipitation in May, June and October.
Crop production is majorly a continuous, season-round pursuit – there is a time for planning and a time for cultivating. The months preceding the rainy season usually serve as a period for crop farmers to plan for the forthcoming planting season in order to prepare the farms for a hassle free crop development phase and productive harvest.
Since agriculture is a delicate endeavour, it is critical that the farmers take deliberate steps to guarantee a productive and profitable farming season. The following steps will go a long way to help.
Start off by setting goals: To be fully prepared for the season ahead, there is a need to have your goals clearly defined. You need to determine both long and short term goals and the way to go about implementing them. It is important to have a set agenda and program that leads up to your important planting activities; this schedule will help increase productivity as there will be extra time to devote to unforeseen matters that come up.
Have a comprehensive crop plan: In order to optimize the use of nutrients in the soil, there is a need for a good crop planning and management itinerary. This will keep you in the know regarding the various nutritional requirements for the plants you intend to cultivate. Engaging in practices such as crop rotation, intercropping, cover cropping and green manure usage represent varying alternatives for farmers to manage soil health and fertility.
Prepare the soil for the planting season: Having a soil that is in good condition for planting produces the best crop possible. Although the nutrient content of a soil is not the only determinant of its health, having an understanding of the components of the soil helps you make informed decisions on fertilizer choice and crop protection methods. Also, take soil samples as they are helpful for subsequent decisions, needed for optimal growth and development.
Additionally, there is a need to draw out a crop protection plan taking things like the soil topography, likely pests, weeds, diseases and other environmental factors into cognizance, in order to provide adequate support needed for the crop development. An all-inclusive crop protection plan can improve your crops’ chances and help you minimize issues during the season.
Re-Check your farming equipment: While maintaining and caring for equipment is done year-round, the months preceding the rainy season allow crop farmers to be more thorough, since there is no pressure to get the equipment back into the field straightaway.
In addition, check all planting equipment before the commencement of planting and fertilizing. Make sure that farming implements with pumps are free of old residue. Inspect planters to be sure all parts are cleaned and ready to perform optimally. Replace any worn-out parts. Perform a safety check to confirm all lights and safety systems operate correctly. Check electronic components of machinery to ensure that wires are properly connected.
Get Agricultural Insurance: Put your mind at ease, and focus solely on the cultivation process by getting an insurance package. Since crop farming is laden with unforeseen risks, let Leadway Assurance Company Limited take the worry out of farming with Agric Insurance policies that suit your needs. With these policies, you are confident of being insulated from the shock financial loss, in the event of unplanned natural mishaps or incidence of fire, windstorm, disease outbreaks, flood, and erosion. We also have policies that cover accidents, machinery, produce storage facilities, poultry, livestock and fish farms.
By taking these tips ahead of time, you will be strongly assured of a farming season with a huge prospect of a profitable harvest. So, to begin with, get a quote on our Agricultural Insurance package today. Call our customer care service on (01) 2800 700, 2800 701, +234 812 999 7175 or send an email to Lcs@leadway.com for more details.