The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has advised farmers to ignore the current early rainfall across the country and not start early planting.
Mr Zakariyau Abdulrasheed, General Manager, NiMet’s Network Services, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday, February 28, 2019 in Abuja.
Abdulrasheed said that the agency, in its 2019 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), had issued an early warning to farmers and others who depended on rainfall for other uses, to be guided accordingly with the early start of rains.
He said that the agency still stood by what it had predicted, adding that NiMet would continue to monitor the climate and inform the public on any new developments.
“In our seasonal rainfall prediction, we predicted that there would be late on set of rains in many parts of the country.
“We still stand by that prediction and we are advising farmers to adhere strictly to the early warning to avoid losses.
“The rain you are having now, especially around the North central, is weather variations that occurs from time to time.
“It is the fluctuations of Inter-Tropical Discontinuity (ITD) northwards.
“This is not an onset of growing season; therefore, farmers are advised to be patient because we predicted that rainy season would commence in April.
“If there is going to be any change, we will inform the stakeholders and the general public about any new finding,” he said.
NiMet had predicted lower-than-normal rainfall over most parts of Nigeria in 2019 with an expected late start of rains in the north.
It also predicted that the south-eastern zone and the coastal areas would experience the normal onset of rains.
By Sumaila Ogbaje