Sirika inaugurates committee to review impact of seasonal rainfall
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has inaugurated an inter-ministerial committee with the responsibility of reviewing the impact of seasonal rainfall prediction (SRP) 2015-2018 of the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET), on the nation’s food security.
The Minister, who inaugurated the committee yesterday, in Abuja, tasked them to examine the level of awareness of farmers among other stakeholders of the SRP, and also compare and contrast agricultural production with SRP within the period of 2015-2018. Stressing the importance of the SRP, Sirika pointed out that the SRP is not only important to assess Nigeria’s ability to feed it people by knowing when to plant and harvest the crops at what particular season, but also determine how to plan cities and build in such a way that withstands the weather condition. He said it is in recognition of the importance of the annual rainfall predictions that NIMET is being empowered and positioned for more accuracy.
“We are acquiring capability through NIMET to cascade and drop it down within meters and inches of accuracy. In 2017, some farmers in Sokoto came to testify that from the prediction and the advice they had gotten that they were able to make good harvest for the season, and unfortunately others who didn’t follow the advice had losses.”
The Committee’s terms of reference also include: examining the consumption vis-a-vis production of agricultural products within a particular period, and relating issues of SRP with food security.He urged the committee members to take the job very seriously as a national assignment, and do it with all the necessary due diligence as well as finish on time, considering its likely effects on Nigeria’s food sufficiency capacity.Chairman of the Committee and Director Planning Research and Statistics, Mohammed Shehu, pledged that members will work assiduously and deliver as expected. He thanked the minister for the opportunity to serve the committee whose assignment touches on the life of the average Nigerian.