Stakeholders in the Agriculture Sector gathered on Thursday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, to chart a way forward towards improving the provision of climate information services to farmers for improved farming experience and food productivity.
The one-day Agriculture Stakeholders Workshop on Improving the Provision of climate information services to farmers was organized by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA, and Oxfam in partnership with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET.
Executive Secretary, HEDA Resource Centre, Mr. Sulaimon Arigbabu, said the workshop is essential for ease of climate information and seasonal climate predictions to farmers, a development he said will aid farming period, seedling choice and farming system.
He noted that agriculture remains mainstay of the nation’s economy and employs about seventy percent of rural workforce who contribute a larger proportion of food consumed in Nigeria.
Arigbabu said the sector is however experiencing crisis due to climate change. He added that the need to salvage the climate dependent sector, makes the synergy among stakeholders imperative.
“One of the major outcomes of the United Nations Food Systems Dialogues is the need to improve on the delivery of climate data and forecasts to aid the food production and distribution systems globally and particularly in Africa.
“The annual Seasonal Climate Predictions and other forecasts from NIMET to the agriculture sector are parts of critical efforts in building the resilience of smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
“It is is imperative for stakeholders to ensure and improve the dissemination ion and of the body of data other and
forecasts from NIMET for the agriculture sector. In order to application achieve these, there is need for a robust and effective feedback system between NIMET and the agriculture community in Nigeria.”
NIMET officials who were present at the workshop noted that their personnel now visit farming communities to make climate information available. He stated that some of those already visited are already giving feedback.
Representing the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, a Director in the ministry, Mohammed Kabiru Hassan, said the state government will bridge the communication gap among stakeholders by updating its network base, engaging more agric extension workers and also building synergy with NIMET to ensure adequate information get to the farmers even in the remote areas.
Participants hailed organisers of the workshop, noting that it has brought together stakeholders to rub minds, design a workable information system and in all help resolve key challenges confronting farmers in the area of climate information.