As people are complaining of harsh harmattan weather, wheat farmers in Yobe State are praying for prolonged cold weather, describing it as favourable for irrigation and improved harvest yields.
The farmers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Garin Gada on Tuesday, said a prolonged harmattan season portrayed potentially good harvests for them.
Malam Ibrahim Jalo, a wheat farmer in the area, said: “Whenever we have prolonged harmattan season, it translates into bumper harvests of wheat.’’
Bukar Modu, another farmer, said: “The harmattan represents good tidings for farmers who enjoy bumper harvests at the end of the season.
“It also presents a lot of hope for high yields in rice and vegetable cultivated through irrigation, so we prefer the cold harmattan weather.”
Mustapha Tanimu, another irrigation farmer in Bayamari, said the cold weather was also suitable for production of onions.
“Culturally, when the season is cold, it gives hope for bumper harvest as against the hot weather,” Tanimu said.
Meanwhile, residents remained indoors to avoid the biting cold while and those outside wore heavy cardigans and multiple clothes to protect themselves from the harsh weather.
Malam Alkali Usman, a civil servant and farmer, however, lamented the renewed security challenges saying: “It is affecting the socio economic development of the state.
“We have in the recent period experienced security challenges, which forced security operatives to close all roads getting out and into Damaturu.
“It has become difficult for some of us to travel out to the farms during weekends, especially along Gashua Road, which consistently suffers emergency closures.”
Hussaini Adamu said he took his annual leave and relocated to the village to give adequate attention to the farm.
Adamu said: “I am gradually moving away from rain-fed agriculture to irrigation farming.
“Irrigation is more predictable than the rain-fed agriculture which was characterised by either low rainfall or floods that swept away the farms.”
The farmers however appealed to the state and federal governments to support irrigation farmers with inputs to boost irrigation activities for food security, employment opportunities and improved economy.