By: Zakari Aliyu
The downscaling of the annual Nigeria Metrological Agency (NiMeT) Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) is aimed at protecting farmers from adverse weather conditions as it affects Agricultural activities.
The FCT Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim stated this in Kuje Area Council at an event organised to mark the commencement of grassroot downscaling and sensitisation programme on the Nigeria Metrological Agency ( NiMeT) 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) published earlier in thyear to FCT farmers.
The Secretary in his keynote address, noted that some of the farmers due to ignorance, suffered crop failure and huge loses resulting from harsh climatic conditions, which he said could have been averted if they were properly availed of accurate weather forecast.
He said scietifiic weather analysis has become a global practice, which every nation including Nigeria have keyed into as a means of having authotative and reliable information that will guide general human activities.
The phenomenon of Climate Change he added, has made weather conditions erratic making it imperative for nations to ensure the availability of timely weather forecast particularly to farmers, who are adversely affected.
In his words: “ It is against this backdrop that the Secretariat is organising the downscaling programme to ensure that farmers across the six Area Councils are sensitised and guided on measures to take to avert the harsh weather conditions.”
Ibrahim further disclosed that the Secretariat has already mobilised and deployed Extension Agents to all the 62 Wards of the FCT to ensure that not only the information but they are guided on actions to take.
“ Beyond bringing the information to the doorstep of our farmers , our extension agents will be on hand to provide practical guidance on when to start planting the type of crops to plant and when to stop planting. We believe that if our farmers adhere to the practices, they will be able to avoid the loses” Ibrahim stated.
He acknowledged the support by the FCT leadership in ensuring that the synergy with NiMeT is sustained, explaining that the measures taken by the FCT Administration in bringing all relevant agencies, particularly the FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to work together are yielding the desired results as witnessed in increased adaptability of farmers to the changes and increase in food and animal production.
He lauded the initiative of NiMet in translating the report in different Nigerian local languages, expressing optimism that it will help the multi-ethnic farming populace of FCT better understood and appreciate the information.
According to him, “It is gladdening to note that the report has been simplified and translated in different languages and with the large turnout we are having at this event, it will gives us hope that the information will reach the targeted farmers as expected.”
Earlier in her welcome address, Director Agric Services in the Secretariat, Mrs. Fransisca Ihekandu, said that the programme will help farmers to have disaster-free farming activities throughout the year.
She said in ensuring that the downscaling is stepped down to all the six Area Councils of the FCT, the Secretariat has already trained and mobilized all the Extension Agents that will be deployed for the exercise.
On his part, Acting General Manager in NiMet, Mr. Oyegade Adeleke, noted that the climate information, which is available for every part of the country will ensure that people don’t make mistakes in farming activity.
“Climate will always change, but people must always build resilience, by accessing appropriate information on climate related issues”, he said.