NiMet, FMAFS Collaborate To Enhance Agricultural Production

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L-R: The director-general, Nigerian Meteorological Agency and the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari at the ministry headquarters in Abuja.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS) are taking steps to strengthen their partnership to enhance agricultural production in Nigeria.

The ministry and NiMet signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 3, 2022, 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 and providing agro-meteorological advisory services to farmers on specific agricultural commodities.

During a joint press briefing on NiMet’s annual seasonal climate prediction (SCP) at the ministry’s conference room in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari welcomed the NiMet team led by the director-general of NiMet and Nigeria’s permanent representative with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Prof. Charles Anosike. He stated, “Your presence here today at our headquarters marks another milestone in the deliberate and desirable collaboration and cooperation between our ministry and your agency.”

The minister highlighted the significance of NiMet’s seasonal climate prediction in critical sectors such as aviation, maritime, and agriculture, emphasising its reliability and impact on decision-making processes. He noted that the prediction provides valuable information about rainfall patterns, growing seasons, and potential dry spells, assisting farmers in making informed decisions to enhance their adaptive capacity.

Expressing gratitude for the minister’s leadership and the efforts to strengthen collaboration between NiMet and the ministry, Professor Anosike emphasised NiMet’s commitment to reaching as many Nigerians as possible with timely and accurate weather and climate information. He acknowledged existing gaps in dissemination and stressed the importance of consistent collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure food security and climate resilience.

Anosike highlighted NiMet’s efforts in disseminating seasonal climate predictions through formal engagements with farmers and various media channels. However, he noted the challenge of reaching over 70 million farmers in Nigeria and emphasised the need to equip them with information and resources to make climate-resilient decisions.

The collaboration between NiMet and FMAFS underscores the importance of interagency cooperation in addressing challenges related to agricultural production and food security. By leveraging expertise and resources, the two entities aim to enhance the resilience of Nigeria’s agricultural sector and mitigate the impact of climate variability on farmers’ livelihoods.

Moving forward, the partnership will focus on enhancing data dissemination, capacity-building, and stakeholder engagement to ensure that farmers across Nigeria have access to actionable weather and climate information. Through concerted efforts, NiMet and FMAFS seek to contribute to sustainable agricultural development and food security in the country.

Oluchi Okorafor
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