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Food security: Farmers asked to plan operations on NiMet’s weather predictions

 The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) on Thursday, December 30, 2021 advised stakeholders in the agriculture value chain in Ogun State to take advantage of its weather prediction information to plan their farming activities and crop planting calendar.

Prof Mansur Matazu
Director General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Mansur Matazu

Numerical Weather Prediction Expert from NiMet, Mr Charles Olubiyi, gave the advice in Abeokuta, the state capital, at a one-day agriculture stakeholders’ workshop on improving the provision of climate information services to farmers.

The workshop was organised by Human Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), a non governmental organisation, in collaboration with NiMet and Power of Voices Partnership-African Activists for Climate Justice.

Olubiyi said it is important to intimate farmers on the importance of climatological information to there operations to help them boost productivity.

He noted that through NiMet weather prediction and through directly liaising with the farmers, productivity has improved, saying that the lack of information concerning weather predictions before planting has affected so many farmers negatively.

“It has really helped in their food production, how you can profit from the usefulness of terrain in your farming, how upland planting, how low land planting can be enhanced by seasonal climate prediction,” he said.

Olubiyi explained that the seminar is aimed at educating stakeholders in the agriculture value chain on how best to respect and follow seasonal climate prediction.

He said that NiMet is always making information concerning the weather available with a view to using it to plan farming and planting calendar as well as avoid flooding before it occurs.

“When there is likely to be some flooding in some parts of the north like we experienced in some areas two years ago in Jigawa, some of them are already privy to how they can mitigate this exigencies through NiMet predictions.

“We as stakeholders have a role to play in ensuring that Nigeria becomes very robust when it comes to food security for our population,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Sulaiman Arigbagbu, Executive Secretary, HEDA Resource Centre, noted that climate change remained a big concern for Africa, especially for the vulnerable sectors including the farmers.

Arigbabu opined that access to climate information services is still largely inadequate in Nigeria, saying it posed a problem not only to the farmers but the society.

The HEDA executive secretary explained that one of the best ways to bring resilience into agriculture is for farmers to have access to appropriate, timely and accurate climate information.

“NiMet is trying its best to give weather information but other stakeholders, including Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Environment and states Ministry’s of Agriculture, have a role to play too in information dissemination to farmers,” he said.

Arigbabu added that it was important for government at all levels, farmers and other stakeholders to take action to ensure food security in the country.

By Abiodun Lawal

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