NiMET, Others Warn Farmers on What can Lead to Low Food Production In 2022
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Human and Environment Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre and OXFAM International, have raised the alarm that lack of reliable weather/climate information and services by farmers would lead to low food production and insecurity in the country.
They warned that if local farmers continually ignore reliable weather/climate information and services, there would be food scarcity and hunger, adding that the sector’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) will be reduced.
NiMET’s Director-General/Chief Executive Officer and Permanent Representative of Nigeria with the World Meteorological Organisation(WMO),
Professor Mansur Bako Matazu in his keynote address at a one-day workshop on developing a feedback framework for climate information service delivery in Nigeria, Lagos said that insecurity had disrupted the country’s agricultural sector.
He stressed that the country could no longer afford local farmers to lose fortunes to non compliance to reliable weather/climate information and services in Nigeria.
He commended the leadership of Human and Environment Development Agenda (HEDA) under the supervision of Mr. Arigbabu Sulaimon and the entire HEDA family for the impacts being recorded in the agricultural value chain through the uptake of weather and climate information and their applications in promoting food security.
The NIMET’s CEO stressed that the agency undertakes Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) annually as part of its mandate to provide timely and reliable weather/climate information and services to all weather sensitive sectors of the economy.
Arigbabu in an interview added that the workshop was to develop a feedback framework for NiMET.
He said: “”The whole idea is to see how our climate information services delivery in Nigeria in order to build resilient in our food system. We have gone round a few states and we have had town hall meetings with farmers, various stakeholders in agric sector, including the ADPs in States, States’ agriculture authorities, Local Governments agriculture authorities, research institutions, farmers, private sector. The whole idea is to see what their experiences are to having access to climate information services, especially being that that service by NiMET.
“We realise that the capability of NiMET and this product that they have is not being optimally adopted and adapted to the agric sector in Nigeria because the information there is not getting to the farmers as at when due even though, we know NiMET is doing a lot in time of reaching out to local farmers as parts of its mandate to communicate effectively with local farmers.
“Many farmers complaints of losses here and there because they don’t have access to the right information at the right time. There is a huge gap in the utilisation of this service and you know that our agriculture is climate independent that is why we have many farmers who are unemployed for half of the year, when we are not in season.”