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NiMet, Agric Ministry to Strengthen Partnership Towards Improving Agricultural Production

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security have made moves to strengthen their existing relationship towards improving agricultural production in Nigeria. 

The Ministry and NiMet had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the 3rd of March, 2022, to collaborate in a lot of areas including development of a dash-board for early warning systems, capacity building for staff of the Ministry and other stakeholders on accessing and interpreting information on meteorological parameter changes, and the provision of agro-meteorological advisory services to farmers on specific agricultural commodities.

At a joint press briefing on NiMet’s annual Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP), which held at the conference room of the Ministry in Abuja, on Tuesday, 16th April, 2024, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari while welcoming the NiMet team led by 

the Director General, Chief Executive Officer of NiMet, and Nigeria’s permanent representative with World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Professor Charles Anosike said: “Your presence here today, at our headquarters, marks another milestone in the deliberate and desirable collaboration and cooperation between our Ministry and your agency. 

“Over the years, critical sectors of the economy, such as aviation, maritime, and agriculture, have come to rely on the Seasonal Climate Prediction published by NiMeT usually in the first quarter of the year. The reliability of the Seasonal Climate Prediction is indicated by increased recourse to the weather advisories contained therein”. 

The Minister also said that NiMet’s Seasonal Climate Prediction can assist in shaping agriculture in Nigeria with regard to information about the pattern and duration of rainfall across the country’s agronomic zones, when to grow and length of growing season, as well as dry spells that could occasion loss of agricultural investment, where remedial measures are not taken. This in turn helps to boost the adaptive capacity of farmers. 

He added that regrettably, there have been farming seasons in Nigeria when farmers did not take advantage of the institutional advice from NIMET, and on their own misread the rainfall pattern, only to face dry spells that invariably ruined their crops and livelihoods.

In his remarks, Professor Anosike thanked the Minister for his leadership and the kind gesture to strengthen the relationship between NiMet and the ministry. 

“NiMet wishes to build on the database of farmers that the ministry has. Already NiMet disseminates information about seasonal climate prediction through formal engagements with farmers, and through the media such as the BBC, social media, Radio Nigeria and through national television stations. 

“However, a lot of gaps still exist within the dissemination space. Our goal is to reach as many Nigerians as possible with timely, accurate and actionable weather and climate information as part of NiMet Early Warning Drive”

Continuing, Professor Anosike said; “Food security requires consistent collaboration with all stakeholders. The SCP as predicted are being manifested but the challenge remains disseminating the contents to over 70 million farmers in Nigeria. Farmers need to be equipped with information and other resources to make climate resilient decisions”.

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