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Friday, March 31, 2023

Planting season begins Feb. 28, says NiMet

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted Feb. 28, as the onset of planting season for 2022.

Hadi Sirika
Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation

This is contained in agency’s 2022 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) report, presented by the Aviation Minister, Sen. Hadi Sirika, on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, in Abuja.

The theme of the event is: “Strengthening Climate Actions through Timely and Impact-based Climate Prediction for Economic Recovery”.

According to NiMet, the earliest onset of the planting season is expected to begin by Feb. 28, in the coastal parts of the country.

“While the onset of rainfall is expected to commence between April and May in the central states and eventually within June to July in the northern states.

“The onset of the planting season is predicted to be normal over most parts of Nigeria with a few areas having it earlier while some areas having it delayed,” the report said.

The agency predicted rainfall cessation dates across most parts of the county in 2022 to be near the long-term average conditions.

NiMet also anticipated that the gap between the onset and cessation dates would be regarded as safe periods for the planting of various crops in accordance with their cropping calendars.

The agency anticipated the growing season to last between 250 to 300 days in southern parts of the country, 100 to 200 days in the North.

According to the report, the areas around Kwara, Oyo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Benue, Bayelsa, and Rivers are likely to experience shorter than normal length of growing season.

NiMet also  forecast prolonged length of growing season in parts of Plateau, Kaduna, Edo, and Imo States.

“For the annual total rainfall, the prediction indicates that the annual rainfall amount is expected to be normal in most parts of the country.

“The annual rainfall amount is expected to range from 390 mm in the North to over 2,790 mm in the South.

“Annual rainfall amount ranging from 390 mm to 790mm is anticipated in some parts of Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Katsina and Sokoto states,” the report said.

Other states envisaged by NiMet to have total rainfall include Nasarawa, Taraba, Kogi, Benue, FCT, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo with record of  1,190 mm to 1,590..

It, however, forecast dry spells from May to August, noting that moderate dry spell would persist for 15 days in Adamawa, Benue, Kogi, Ekiti, Kwara, Niger, FCT, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi and Gombe.

Other areas to be affected include parts of Kebbi, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe, Borno, while Nasarawa and Plateau states are to experience a severe dry spell for 20 days or longer.

On temperature, NiMet predicts daytime and night-time temperature for January to April where northern part would experience cooler days in January and February, while South would have warmer nights.

“Also warmer days over North and cooler nights around.

“South is predicted for the month of March,’’ the report said.

 Sen. Sirika also called on governors and legislators to partner with NiMet to take weather predictions to the grassroots.

According to him, such effort will assist local farmers and common Nigerians to have more access to weather reports.

“Just like previous years, the 2022 SCP document has been translated into three major languages – Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo to encourage wider use in the country.

“This is in addition to efforts already in progress to downscale forecast to states and local government levels; we shall continue with aggressive drives towards getting predictions with states and local governments throughout the country.

“I therefore call on our executive governors and legislators to partner with the NiMet for this downscaling efforts,” he said.

According to him, to say forecasts and advisories are very helpful in decision making by all stakeholders including policy makers will be an understatement.

He said the 2022 edition of the SCP came with a new document titled: “Executive Summary for Policy Makers“ which was put together to assist policy makers like ministers and governors.

“Others to benefit from the document are legislatures and executives of weather and climate-related MDA`s and other organisation (public and private).

“They are to take informed decisions that will minimise or prevent weather disaster risks and enhance socio-economic production and growth in 2022,“ he said.

Prof. Mansur Matazu, the Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), said the agency produced SCP annually in fulfilment of its statutory responsibility to advise government and people of Nigeria on all aspects of weather and climate.

According to him, SCP gave outlook of various climate variables like rainfall and temperature patterns in Nigeria for the year.

“NiMet produces these forecasts using state-of- the-art forecasting tools and contemporary scientific knowledge.

“The information presented in the SCP publication is relevant for policy formation, planning and decision making by operators, stakeholders and individuals in both private and public sectors in Nigeria.

“The forecasts are particularly useful for operators in weather-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, aviation, construction, water resources, health, trade and tourism among others.”

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, said weather activities played major role in the growing of nation`s economy.

The minister urged all stakeholders to adhere to relevant information in the 2022 SCP.

“Climate play critical role in our daily lives. It is not only useful for aviation but to agriculture, gas industries among others. Our economy depends largely on what the weather says.

“With global warming, we can no longer predict by ourselves but SCP will help us to predict and also help insurance companies.

“I hope we will all take seriously what 2022 SCP has for us,” he said.

By Gabriel Agbeja

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