Local farmers in Borno, Northeast Nigeria, have begun to express worry and agitations over the absence of rain for more than a month, which they say has begun to affect crop yields.
The cease of downpours has given rise to the unusual scorching sun that has been detrimental to the early stages of crop growth, causing distress among the farming community.
The current situation sharply contrasts with the predictions made by NIMET and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) regarding heavy rainfall and potential flooding in certain areas of Nigeria, including Borno State.
Modu Alkasim, a civil servant who also engages in subsistence farming, voiced his concern about the situation. “Each time I go to check my crops, I pity their blistered state because they are starved of water,” he lamented.
Similarly, Fatima Zara, a mother of four and a local farmer, echoed Alkasim’s sentiments. Zara, whose livelihood depends on her farm yield, expressed fears about the looming food insecurity if the dry spell continues.
“The delayed rains might affect the yield for this year; it’s a situation that keeps me up at night,” she said.
The lack of rain, in addition to the recent onslaught of attacks on farmers by terror groups in the State, forecasts a downward slope for the agricultural sector. Authorities seem equally worried over the potential devastation it may have on farming activities. In the absence of solutions from relevant bodies, farmers have been known to resort to artificial methods such as irrigation farming to maintain their crop products. Last year, after the flooding disaster, for example, farmers turned to it.
This time, however, the people are seeking divine intervention in their desperation. The Shehu of Borno, His Eminence Abubakar Garbai Elkanemi, has led a statewide prayer for rain. The prayer, held at the grand Eid ground, sought divine mercy for the parched land.
Similar prayers for the resumption of the rains are also being offered in various churches across the state. At the EYN Tanki Church along Damboa Road, Pastor Ezekiel Wasoro sympathized with his congregation, mostly farmers who are left in fear of poor harvest, and urged the church to offer special prayers to avert the ugly situation.
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