The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) say they will continue to partner to work out strategies for food security in Nigeria.
A statement issued on Sunday, June 20, 2021 in Abuja by the agency’s Managing Director of Corporate Communications Unit, Mr Muntari Ibrahim, quoted NiMet’s Director-General, Prof. Mansur Matazu, to have said this during a virtual meeting.
According to Matazu, NiMet would continue to work closely with FAO and other partners to promote the use of climate information in agricultural planning and decision making for improved food production with security and improved livelihoods.
“For example, projected spikes in temperature, changes in rainfall patterns and increase in extreme weather events can lead to reduction in water availability.
“These may result in reduced agricultural productivity and trigger off subsequent threat to food security.
“NiMet has earlier predicted that seven northern states will experience severe dry spells in June.
“It, however, noted that by July and August, the dry spell would have improved and the affected states would experience above normal rainfall.
“NiMet is committed to continuous monitoring of developing weather patterns in order to update its partners about observed changes, especially in areas that churn out large output of food, as failure to do this would impact negatively on food security,” he said.
Matazu further said that weather plays an important role in agriculture, pointing out that it dictates whether farmers would experience a bumper harvest or not.
He said that weather has profound influence on the growth, development and yields of a crop.
He argued that incidences of pests and diseases, water needs and fertilizer requirements are mainly dictated by weather pattern.
“Due to this, NiMet annually presents overall Seasonal Climate Prediction of the country.
“This is with a view to help different sectors of the economy to consider the weather information in their plans to reduce multiplier negative impacts,” he said.
The statement also quoted the Emergency and Resilience Programme Specialist of FAO, Mr Sworo Yopesi, as saying the agency had noticed the evolution of dry spells that could inhibit agriculture yields in some parts of the country.
Yopesi said the observation “necessitated the urgent meeting with NiMet in order to synergise and arrive at a collective solution that can lead to timely dissemination of weather alerts to the affected regions impacted by the dry spells.
“This is to mitigate the negative impact of weather on agriculture to improve food security in the country,” he said.
FAO Nigeria comprises a multi-disciplinary team of experts in different fields, including Forestry, Animal production,
Fisheries, Crop Production, Agribusiness, Food Security, Nutrition, Irrigation, Emergency Response and Resilience Building.
These capacities are deployed to provide technical assistance to Ministries, Departments and Agencies that have relevance to FAO Mandate.
By Gabriel Agbeja