An Assessment of Rainfall Attributes and Onsets-Cessations Dates Effective for Cropping in Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
Rainfall affects almost all human lives, significantly in diverse fields like agriculture, business, health, transportation and tourism. Amongst the main endeavours engaged by man, agriculture is the main stake for man’s source of livelihood. Most people are not aware of the attributes of rainfall peculiar to their surroundings, as such embarked on agricultural activities through ``try by error" and are faced with challenges due to the unstable nature of weather. Weather does disappoint most people that are into farming because rainfall varies in the study area. This study aimed at assessing Lafia rainfall attributes and the determination of its onset-cessation dates effective for cropping. Eleven years rainfall data of Lafia was collected for the study. The analysis was carried out using Excel tool and Mann Kendall analytical approach with the aid of Xl statistical software in the description of Lafia rainfall attributes. The study reveals a less stability nature of rainfalls at a value greater than 40, and a fluctuating onset dates between April and May with drought and dry spell occurrences in each of the growing seasons were recorded. The study therefore concluded that, there exist a less stable rainfall amount and a highly stable rainfall frequency of occurrences; all these affects food crops production and its output as the average rainfall amount recorded is (1371.2 mm) while the average number of rainy days in the study was (95 days). It is therefore recommended that other researchers should carry out an empirical study on the severity of drought and dry spell in the study area.
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