Olawale, a fellow of the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services, made the call in an interview with the press on Thursday in Lagos.
He noted that delayed commencement of rainfall had prevented many local farmers from commencing the 2021 planting season, a situation that might affect food production in the country.
“We need to go beyond dependence on rain-fed agriculture and explore less rain-dependent farming systems.
“Most of our food crops like rice, beans, maize, among others depend excessively on rainfall but when there is a dry spell, it affects their productivity.
“In the entire world, African Agriculture is 70 to 75 percent dependent on rainfall. We are rain-fed dependent because we lack the technology to substitute for rain-fed agriculture.
“Our farmers need to be equipped with the necessary knowledge to adopt other farming systems around the world that are not dependent on rainfall,” Olawale said.
According to the expert, many Nigerian local farmers lack access to western education that will enable them to grasp and adopt other farming systems to boost their productivity, rain or no rain.
“Also, our local farmers lack access to proper irrigation system to depend less on rain-fed agriculture system. We also lack the technical know-how of hydronic farming for growing crops in water,” the expert said.
He, however, called for more investment in irrigation facilities to help local farmers cultivate crops even with little or no rainfall.
He added that “Hydroponic farming has been one major system of farming that has helped farmers around the world depend less on rain-fed agriculture and the improvement of food production across the world.
“However, this system of farming requires an understanding of its technicalities to get the desired results in crop cultivation and harvests.
“Some of our farmers do not have the patience, dexterity, and commitment it takes to practice hydroponic farming or other technical farming systems hence our continuous dependence on rain-fed agriculture.
“We should concentrate more on irrigation farming to depend less on rain-fed agriculture.
“Our farmers do not have the knowledge and patience for other forms of agriculture substitution that can be practised in the country. So we need to invest more in irrigation for local farming to excel,” he said.