FCT minister urges farmers, others to plan with NiMet rainfall data

THE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, on Thursday, called on farmers in Nigeria, especially in the territory to leverage the 2019 seasonal rainfall prediction made available by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) in planning their farming activities for the year.

Malam Bello, who made the call in Abuja, while unveiling the 2019 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) by NiMet, said the advice became necessary to ensure that climate-smart agricultural practices were promoted.

He also advised other institutions and communities to use the available professional data and information to improve their activities.

The minister commended the agency and the Ministry of Aviation for living up to the mandate of providing valuable meteorological information for aviation and non-aviation sectors in Nigeria, said their activities were consistent with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda of improving the process of governance with available technology,

Malam Bello, therefore, assured that the FCT administration would leverage effectively the available information in order to add value to governance and guide the sizeable community of farmers in the territory.

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Unveiling the 2019 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Abubakar Hadi Sirika, said it was designed to provide relevant information for planning and execution of projects and programmes in various sectors of the economy like agriculture, air transportation, infrastructure construction, telecommunication and water resources that were sensitive to weather.

The minister said the early release of this vital information before the beginning of rainy season every year is to ensure effective harnessing of the climate resource and guarantee minimal losses from associated hazards which are becoming quite devastating in the era of climate change.

He noted that the agency has been able to successfully mitigate the effects of climate change in the country through early warning systems and other critical data provided it has been providing.

Giving further breakdown of the rainfall prediction, the minister said the country was expected to experience below normal, to normal rainfall season, adding that the rains is expected to start late, especially in the northern parts of the country, while the south-eastern zone, as well as the coastal areas, will experience normal onset of the rains.

He noted that most of the Northern States would experience earlier than normal end growing season, in addition to more frequent dry spells during the rainy season in some parts of the extreme North around June and July. The rest of the country he added would also experience shorter growing seasons due to late onset of rains and early ending.

Senator Sirika appreciated the partnership between the agency and the FCTA including the provision of land housing the agency which has helped to improve its activities.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director-General, NIMet, Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi, said the agency has been delivering on its mandate since it was set up in 2012, adding that its predictions have been consistently and accurately delivered over the period.

The DG noted that the predictions by NIMET were now being taken more seriously since the regrettable 2012 flood incident that was experienced in most parts of the country, which he said has encouraged the agency to do more to improve on the accuracy of the predictions. 

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