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The Human and Environmental Development (HEDA) in collaboration with Nigerian Metrological Agency, has advised farmers to adhere to weather forecast to mitigate impacts of climate change on their farm produce.
The Executive Secretary, HEDA Resource Centre, Suleiman Arigbabu, made the call in Lafia at an interaction workshop for agriculture stakeholders in Nasarawa State.
Arigbabu said the mid season interactive workshop with the agricultural stakeholders in the state is an opportunity to review what impacts people are getting from NiMet regarding information on such as rainfall and heat prediction, among others.
He explained that the programme was part of project called African Activists for Climate Justice, which being implement by HEDA, NiMet, PanaFrican Climate Justice Alliance and Oxfam, among others, being funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherland.
He commended NiMet for producing seasonal prediction in major Nigeria languages, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo to assist farmers in getting relevant information that would help them on their farming activities.
According to him, this is a mid-season interactive workshop with the agricultural stakeholders in Nasarawa State, is an opportunity to review what impact are people getting from agency such as NiMet in trying to provide information about rainfall and heat predictions amongst others.
“The question is do we have system to support farmers so that they will get the right information, knowledge, the capacity and access to inputs that will help them to cope with climate change?
“That is climate justice for people at this stage because when the farmers get the support they need, there will be increase in food production, food prices will be cheaper, hunger and poverty will decreased, nutrition will also improved.”
On his part, the National President, Association of Small Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria, Joshua Jonathan, called on farmers to adhere to the predictions by NiMet to improve their farm produces.
He said, “The challenge is that many farmers did not believe NiMet predictions , and we are encouraging ourselves as farmers to believe the predictions of NiMet to make our farming activities more rewarding otherwise we will be losing.
“Although sometimes there are little variations on NiMet predictions, we have seen the prediction on dry spell happened, if we have SMS dedicated to farmers to give them information on a weekly or monthly basis it will help us.”
The Chief Metrologist Agriculture, Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet), James Adamu,
said that the program was designed to update farmers and stakeholders on climate change and the weather outlook for September and October.
Adamu noted that this year rainfall would be extended and called on farmers to pay attention, particularly to their harvest so that they would not have a lot of post-harvest losses and more destruction by rain or rots due to moisture in the soil.
“Based on that, we feel that there is a need to keep up an update because there is an update on what is going to happen this September and October so that the people living in Nasarawa, particularly those along river banks, will take precautions,” he said.
He said that it had an application that could be downloaded on the Google play store to enable farmers to have seasonal weather predictions for their location,
He also added that discussions were ongoing with service providers to make text messages on weather predictions available to farmers who did not have android phones.
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