Traditional believes, highly technical scientific information, poor communications, language barrier among others have been identified as key challenges in the delivery of Agrometeorological information to farmers in the country
Professor Mansur Bako Matazu, the Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), and Permanent Representative of Nigeria with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) identified this in a keynote address at the One-day Workshop on Developing a feedback framework for Climate Information Service Delivery in Nigeria at Shoregate Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Prof Matazu said to ensure that NiMet products and services reach the required destinations and achieving desired impacts, the Agency relied on partnerships adding 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 Human and Environmental Development Agenda (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, Nigeria”
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 stressing that if 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 nineteen Northern States and the FCT including production of weather Information handbook for the farmers.
In the same vein, in December 2021 – Town Hall Meetings were held in Adamawa, Nasarawa, Kwara, Ogun and Oyo states with the theme: “The role of stakeholders in making the SCP effective in Building Resilience in our Food Systems.”.
Matazu commended the leadership of Human and Environment Development Agenda (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.
The NiMet boss further disclosed that 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.
He said the agency maintained a strong and efficient collaboration with Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) on Climate Smart Villages, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on Climate Smart Agricultural Practices, Centre for Dry-Land Agriculture (CDA), USAID Market, State governments, and other key MDAs in providing Agrometeorological information to farming communities across the country.