Lagos – Dr Anthony Anuforom, the Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), said extreme weather conditions such as drought, flood and heat waves constituted serious threat to global food security.
This is contained in a statement issued on Tuesday in Lagos by NiMet’s Head of Media, Mrs Eva Azinge.
The statement quotes Anuforom as making the assertion at the 10th Annual Lecture Series of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
It said that the threat was as a result of the high vulnerability of agricultural products to weather variability.
Anuforom said that throughout history, the search for food had been the most fundamental of human activity, adding that it had also influenced human behaviour and his activities.
The director-general, however, expressed concern that man’s quest for food security had continued to be hampered by extreme weather conditions.
“In Nigeria, agriculture is predominantly rain-fed system and therefore highly vulnerable to rainfall extremes.
“Recurrent droughts since the 1960s, particularly those of the 1970s and 1980s, have been a great challenge to agricultural production and food security in the country,” the NiMet boss said.
The NiMet boss said that the impact of extreme weather on food security in Nigeria could be managed through climate change adaptation policies and appropriate economic framework.
He said that weather forecast and climate predictions, such as NiMet’s Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), were useful tools for reducing the impact of extreme weather condition.
Contributing, Prof. Joel Igbokwe, the Dean of the institution’s Faculty of Environmental Sciences, said that a nation’s development was largely measured on her ability to feed its populace and guaranty food security.
“Extreme weather events can reduce the ability of any nation to feed its people, if not well monitored and controlled.
“All over the world, there is a growing concern that these extreme weather events will have the very negative impact on global food production.
“If not properly monitored, managed and controlled, it can drastically reduce the ability of poorer and developing countries, including Nigeria to produce regular crops for their population,” Igbokwe said. (NAN)