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April 17, 2024

Food Security: NiMet Harps on Effective Early Warning System, Seasonal Forecasting to Mitigate Climate Disasters

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has underscored the importance of implementing an effective early warning system and providing farmers with knowledge of weather patterns and seasonal forecasting to enhance food security and mitigate climate disasters.

During a panel discussion at the launch of the USAID Global Food Security Strategy Country Plan in Abuja over the weekend, Prof. Charles Anosike, the Director-General of NiMet and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), underscored the need for collaborative efforts among development partners and Nigerian Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to address food security challenges.

Anosike stressed the need to employ an innovative approach in the integration of weather and climate-related factors into the entire agricultural value chain. 

He highlighted NiMet’s goal of mainstreaming weather and climate information.

“NiMet is working with partners to mainstream weather and climate information in the agricultural value chain. We are using a co-produc­tion mechanism to facilitate our seasonal climate prediction. NiMet ensures appropriate un­derstanding and use of weather information by stakeholders to improve planning and strategic decision making,” he remarked.

“The agency’s Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) serves as an early warning tool, providing insights into weather and climate variability for upcoming months, including rainfall patterns and temperature variations,” he added.

Anosike cautioned against the adverse effects of unpredictable rainfall patterns and extreme weather events, stating that this may intensify food and water scarcity and lead to a decline in agricultural production. 

He also noted that extreme changes in temperature could affect the growth and yield of crops and may destroy the crops during post pro­cessing and transportation.

He stressed the need for Nigeria to strengthen collaborations and implement strategies for promoting climate-resilient agriculture. He explained the importance of empowering small-scale farmers to respond effectively to climate challenges.

According to him, climate change worsens the issue of resource scarcity and food insecurity.

He said: “Climate change may not be the only source of our prob­lems. However, climate change is the threat multiplier as it intensifies resource scarcity and deepens food insecurity.”

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