Safety measures against fire outbreaks, protecting Livestock and Crops

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Dry season in Nigeria is usually followed by a period of harmattan which usually results in volatile conditions for fire outbreaks.

Yearly plantations and fertile farmlands are destroyed through reckless bush burning practices. A common practice is herdsmen setting ablaze pastures to stimulate offshoots.

To avert such occurrences or minimize their extents and effects, experts have advised farmers to do the following.

Clearing the bush on the driveway and within the farm before the outsets of dry seasons is a preventive and proactive step.

Whether on a cassava farm or an orange plantation, clearing is a way to avert fire disasters and loss of food and investments.

Mr. Kolawole Adeniji, Managing Director of NIJI Group, one of the largest cassava producers in the country, advised farmers to keep a fire line, weed and rake the line and ensure that their crop farms are weeded and raked at the outsets of dry seasons. This, he claimed, is what he has been doing to keep his farm protected against fire.

Prevention of fire outbreaks on perennial crop plantations or annual food crops farms should start from the farm layout.

A good farmland layout should leave a driveway round the farm, and this should be constantly maintained. The space will not only make harvest easier but also make protection against fire outbreaks easier.

It will create a distance from other farms, and hence prevent the spread of fire from neighbouring farms in a case of an outbreak.

Installation of fire alarms on poultry and other animal farms is also recommended.

Most alarms trigger off on smoke detection. This can serve as an effective way of alerting farm owners and their neigbours to the danger of fire outbreaks.

Agricultural insurance, no doubt, is a smart way of securing farm investments against losses. Insurance pools little resources together from different farmers through premiums and compensates any of them in cases of incidents (fire disasters).

They should also include regular fire drills for the employees of the farms; and the use of seasonal farm guards on cocoa, palm, orange and other plantations to prevent, tame or alert the owners to dangers is not only economical but also protective.

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