Connect with us


NiMET doubtful of rainy season



Spread the love

THE 2016 rain season is however on a doubtful occurrence as the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) advised farmers and agriculturists in Nigeria to supplement the expected water stress with irrigation to enhance crop production, during the 2016 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) presented to the public recently in Abuja.

Farm groups had earlier called on NiMET to release weather predictions well ahead of the commencement of the 2016 farming season. Alhaji Rabiu Ahmed, Executive Secretary, Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers of Nigeria (FEPSAN) in Lagos said that farmers were already seizing the opportunity of the new rain patterns to plant crops.

The executive secretary noticed that the weather was changing and getting ready for another season, suggesting that the rainy season could start earlier than usual, but NiMET had predicted late onset, early cessation and lower-than-normal rainfall across most parts of the country in 2016.

Meanwhile, Farmers were recently warned to wait for enough rainfall before commencing the planting of crops as the ground was not wet enough for farming by an Agriculture Extension Officer, Mr Michael Fapounda in Ikole, Ekiti.

Fapounda said that the recent rainfall in the area which prompted some farmers to begin the planting of maize could be a hoax and he advice farmers to tarry awhile in other for them not to waste their grains as there was the possibility that grains planted now would dry up should the rain stop.

ALSO SEE: NIMET calibration laboratory will save Nigeria huge capital flight—NSE

NiMet prediction indicated that late onset and early cessation of rainfall in the Northern belt of the country, specifically Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara, Kaduna, Borno and Adamawa States were likely to create water stress leading to reduction in production tonnage, adding that farmers and agriculturists need to be aware of this and should supplement with irrigation to enhance crop development.

NiMet who advised that early maturing and drought tolerant crop varieties especially maize, cowpea, sorghum and millet be provided by the relevant authorities at an affordable price stated that Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), such as the use of economic trees like Gum Arabic, date palm, shear, jatrophaetc, for fencing should be encouraged.

The Director General, NiMet, Dr Anthony Anuforom also adviced that Zero tillage, mulching and other moisture conservation techniques should be used as the prediction indicated that warmer-than-normal conditions in February, March and April were expected to negatively affect livestock production in the affected areas.

This will also affect mortality rate, which is expected to increase during these months due to temperature fluctuations, stressing that day-old chicks might likely be most affected. The condition will also create water stress in small ponds, making animals to go far in search of drinking water.

Anuforom said that in this regard, the use of irrigation water bodies by the animals is recommended and as more water should also be harvested in various agricultural reservoirs and dams in the country, adding that Government should encourage development of ranches and fodder production and grazing areas should be properly and clearly marked out to reduce the recurrent clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

The NiMET DG who stressed that necessary vaccine should be provided for animals due to likely spread of diseases as a result of predicted warmer conditions in most parts of the country ,pointed out that other advisories for livestock operators include use of improved breeds of chicken (to be provided by local and international agricultural research organisations) for better yields during the 2016 agricultural season.

The prediction report also indicated that fish farming may likely be adversely affected as a result of warmer-than-normal conditions, especially in the coastal parts of the country.It stated that the “high run-off” predicted for some areas might not favour artisanal fish farming as food waters might inundate and wash away the fishes.


The SRP report , however, urged Aquaculture practitioners or operators to take note of areas predicted to have high run-offs in order to avoid associated impacts.

ALSO SEE: Aeronautical engineers charge government on maintenance culture

Early last week it rained in Kaduna, Lagos and some part of the country, but Alhaji Rabiu Ahmed, Executive Secretary, Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers of Nigeria (FEPSAN noted that the season may start earlier than last year; yet it is too early though to predict anything now, because the season has not yet started.

Lagos State may have experienced average downpour, NiMET reports says that the 2016 rainy season farming would begin in April, as Anuforom, said at the presentation of the 2016 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) in Abuja that dry spells would be frequent and severe in many parts of the north during the rainy season and that “August Break” would be pronounced in parts of the south.

The NiMETDG , however stressed that the expected lower-than-normal rainfall in parts of the country does not rule out the possibility of isolated flash floods due to high intensity rainfall at the peak of the season, but that they are risk factors for farmers in the affected areas and have to be carefully and scientifically managed

Agriculture Extension Officer, Mr Michael Fapounda, giving recent said that farmers should not rush into planting instead they should make last minute preparations for the commencement of the new farming season and purchase new varieties of grains, cassava stems and other crops they intend to cultivate and ensure that their farmlands are free of weeds.

Fapounda advised farmers could begin planting by the third week of March if the rain continues and they experience soaking downpour as he implored youths in rural areas to make use of the opportunity of being in agrarian communities to engage in farming during the new farming season.

He however lamented the involvement of some youths in commercial motorcycle business instead of agriculture that could guarantee bright future for them and urged unemployed youths to face the reality in the country’s employment market to indulge in activities that would raise their living standard and make them self-sufficient.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.