By Obinna Unaeze
Bida (Niger) – The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) on Wednesday, decried the information gap between States Agricultural Development Authorities and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET).
Malam Garba Ibrahim, Lead Facilitator, HEDA, made this known in Bida during a one day sensitisation seminar for 50 farmers drawn from nine Local Government Areas of Niger South.
Ibrahim said that the information gap between states agricultural development authorities and the NiMET had resulted in under-utilisation of climate information by farmers and other stakeholders across the country.
“There is currently a gap between states agriculture development authorities and NiMET which has resulted in under-utilisation of climate information services from the agency in policies, planning and programmes.
“Timely reliable and useful climate information and early warning is critical to agriculture production and livelihood protection for farmers in Niger state and Nigeria in general.
“Using the annual seasonal rainfall prediction produced by the NiMET will help mitigate a lot of problems arising from the difficulty in planning because of weather nuance,” he said.
He quoted NiMET prediction in the state this year, saying that rain would cease in parts of the state in November.
The facilitator said that the local government areas that would have rains in the state till November 7, were Katcha Agaie and Lapai.
He said that the growing season in the state would end in October in Rijau, Mariga Agwara, Borgu and Kontagora local governments.
Ibrahim added that Sutleja, Lapai Bida and Lavun local governments are expected to have the longest rainfall period in the state for 170 days this year.
He said that the total volume of rainfall for the state this year would range from 880 millimetres to 1350 millimetres in the southern part of the state.
The facilitator said that due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the need to respect the guidelines set out by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) especially, social and physical distancing, the number of participants was reduced to only 50, but urged those present to share the knowledge acquired with other farmers in their localities.
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the seminar was jointly organised by HEDA, NiMET and the Community Action for Food Security Initiative to enlighten the farmers on how to effectively use NiMET’s predictions to improve farming and agricultural production.
Responding on behalf of the farmers, Mr Adams Garba, who appreciated the organisers, said the programme had improved their knowledge and would impact positively on their farming activities.