An Organic Farmer, Mr Uche Ikenga, has advised local farmers to build drainage systems through sturdier and higher ridges to avert flooding and loss of crops on their farms.
Ikenga gave the advice while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Wednesday.
He said that construction of such farm ridges was important now as the rain became more constant across the country.
The farmer noted that the constancy of the rains had resulted in the flooding of some farms.
“With the constant rainfall in some parts of the country presently, local farmers experience flooded farms with their ridges being washed away.
“When we make our heaps and ridges higher, it will make the excess water to flow through the valleys that has been created and then channel out.
“If the farmer does not create a proper drainage system in his farm through the high ridges, the rain will end up flooding the farm.
“We need to see how to deploy the right mechanics in our farming system so that local farmers do not experience loss during the rainy season,” Ikenga said.
He called for the development of better storage and preservation technology to stop the scarcity of seasonal crops as well as make the crops available all year round.
“There are some crops that are rain averse, they cannot withstand high torrents of rain and good examples of these are tomatoes and beans.
“Tomatoes and beans do not thrive well with much water, so most farmers usually wait till the rain subsides before they cultivate them, hence the seasonal scarcity and hike in price of these items.
“The fluted pumpkin (Ugwu) usually does well when it rains. The reason some farmers complain of the rain washing away the vegetable is because they do not build high ridges when cultivating it.
“You should not plant the fluted pumpkin on ordinary beds or low ridges during the rainy season if you do not want to lose your crops.
“To make available crops that do not do well during the rainy season, we need to develop a good preservation technology and culture to get these crops all year round,” Ikenga said.
He said that the lack of adequate storage and preservation technology was a major challenge to farmers because when they grew the perishables and did not have an immediate market for them, they were forced to sell them cheap.
“However, if we have adequate storage systems to keep our produce fresh, we will not sell them off as peanuts but get a reasonable return for our investments,” Ikenga said.