BY YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has identified traditional believes, highly technical scientific information, poor communications, language barrier as key challenges facing delivery of agro-meteorological information to farmers in the country.
Speaking at the one-day workshop on developing feedback framework for Climate Information Service Delivery in Nigeria, over the weekend, director general, NiMET, Prof. Mansur Matazu, said, to ensure NiMet products and services reached the required destinations and achieved desired impacts, the agency relied on partnerships.
He said: “the key challenge in the delivery of Agrometeorological information to farmers include traditional believes, highly technical scientific information, poor communications, language barrier, among others.”
He, however, stated that, to break the barrier, the agency partnered with relevant organisations and still opened to relevant partnership.
To him, “the essence of collaborative partnerships such as the NiMet-HEDA relationship. The Nigerian Meteorological Agency remains open to more of these partnerships and look for forward to improved working relationship with Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) for sustainable food security in Nigeria.”
He also added that, with collaborations, NiMET has been able to reach out to multiple clients over the years with attendant testimonies and positive feedbacks.
According to Matazu, “one of such partnerships is the one with HEDA which began in 2018 and has culminated to this day. Some of the activities include, the 2018 feeding futures Africa Workshop (AGROCONNECT) held in Lagos.”
The NiMet boss said, the objective of the partnership was to engage stakeholders on their role in co-production and co-ownership of Agrometeorological products for effective understanding and efficient utilisation of the products as promoted by NiMet and the WMO. He stressed that, the forum also affords NiMet a platform to develop a sustainable communication channel to the end-users and appreciate further the needs from stakeholders.
He noted that, in 2020, a dialogue with the theme: ‘Enhancing Agro-Meteorological Information Services Delivery for Resilient Food Systems in Nigeria: Challenges, Prospects And Partnerships’ was conducted, adding that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual downscale of the NiMet Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) was conducted which covered over one thousand lead farmers, extension workers and other stakeholders during the Covid-19 lockdown in 19 Northern states and the FCT, including production of weather Information handbook for the farmers.
Matazu congratulated the leadership of HEDA under the supervision of Mr. Arigbabu Sulaimon and the entire HEDA family for the impacts being recorded in the agricultural value chain through the uptake of weather and climate information and their applications in promoting food security.
According to the NiMet boss, climate change adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme (CASP) which covered 104 LGAs and 727 villages with over 60,000 farmers and extension officers were trained in Jigawa, Katsina, Borno, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara States between 2017 and 2021.