Effective early warning system can boost food security in Nigeria – NiMet

The Director General and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), and Permanent Representative of Nigeria with World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Professor Charles Anosike, has spoken on ways to boost food security.

Anosike said that effective early warning system, equipping farmers with the knowledge of weather patterns and seasonal forecasting could boost food security and ensure adequate protection from climate disasters.

The Professor spoke on Thursday, March 21, as a panelist during the USAID Global Food Security Strategy Country Plan launch in Abuja.

The panel discussed the role of development partners and Nigerian MDAs in ensuring food security.

Professor Anosike said that Nigeria is presently facing food security challenges which requires a new way of thinking by integrating weather and climate related factors into the entire agricultural value chain.

According to him, “NiMet is working with partners to mainstream weather and climate information in the agricultural value chain. We are using 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.

“Our annual Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) is a climate action -early warning tool that gives an outlook of weather and climate variability in upcoming months within the year. It highlights rainfall patterns and temperature variability.”

He added: “Unpredictable rainfall patterns and extreme events can trigger competition for food and water. Declining agricultural outputs can lead to loss of income and exacerbate food insecurity. Temperature changes affect crop growth and yield, and can also destroy crops during post processing and transportation.

“We need to intensify our collaborative efforts with deliberate and intentional strategy to promote climate – smart agriculture and invest in preparedness, and improve the response ability of our smallholder farmers. 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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