By Chinyere Anyanwu

 

In their bid to boost agricultural production and mitigate the impact of climate change on farmers’ livelihoods in the country, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) have forged a stronger partnership. 

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, during a media briefing on the 2024 NiMet Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) in Abuja, revealed that the ministry and NiMet recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in various areas, including the development of a dashboard for early warning systems, capacity building for ministry staff and other stakeholders in accessing and interpreting meteorological information as well as provide agro-meteorological advisory services to farmers on specific agricultural commodities.

He stated that the collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and NiMet underscores the importance of interagency cooperation in addressing challenges related to agricultural production and food security.

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The minister pointed out that the partnership would focus on enhancing data dissemination, capacity-building and stakeholder engagement to ensure that Nigerian farmers have access to actionable weather and climate information.

He added that the ministry’s 10 automatic weather stations had been handed over to NiMet to expand its capacity in data and information gathering in the agricultural sector.

Kyari pointed out that the SCP would provide valuable information about rainfall patterns, growing seasons and potential dry spells, assisting farmers in making informed decisions to enhance their adaptive capacity.

In his remarks, Director General, NiMet and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Prof. Charles Anosike, stated that NiMet is committed to reaching out to as many Nigerians as possible with timely and accurate weather and climate information.

Anosike highlighted NiMet’s efforts in disseminating seasonal climate predictions through formal engagements with farmers through various media channels. He also emphasised the need to equip Nigerians, especially farmers, with information and resources to enable them make climate-resilient decisions.