By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Monday inaugurated an inter-ministerial committee, charged with the responsibility of reviewing from 2015 to 2018 the impact of seasonal rainfall prediction, SRP, of the Nigerian Metrological Agency, NIMET, on the nation’s food security.
According to the minister, the prediction which is very scientific and exact, are extremely important and beneficial to what the nation does, including how to plan cities and house construction to stand weather condition.
He added that the most important one “is our ability to feed our self by knowing when to plant and harvest the type of crops and at what particulars season.
Sirika further noted that it was in recognition of the importance of the annual rainfall predictions that the agency is being empowered and positioned for more accuracy.
A statement signed by the director, Public Affairs, Federal Ministry of Aviation, Sani Datti quoted the Minister as saying: “We are acquiring capability through NIMET to cascade and drop it down within meters and inches of accuracy,” noting that “in 2017, some farmers in Sokoto came to testify that from the prediction and the advice they have gotten that they were able to make good harvest for the season and unfortunately other who didn’t follow the advice had losses”.
The committee’s Terms of Reference include
examining the level of awareness of stakeholders (especially farmers) of the SRP;
compare and contrast the agricultural production and SRP within the period of 2015-2018; examining the consumption vis a vis production of agricultural products on the nation’s economy within the period. Relating issues on SRP and food security; and
any other assignments given by the minister on the subject matter.
He urged the committee members to take the job very seriously as national assignment and do it with all the necessary due diligence as well as finish on time, “considering its likely effect on the nation’s food sufficiency capacities.”
Chairman of the committee and Director Planning Research and Statistics, Mohammed Shehu pledged members’ readiness to deliver on the committee’s mandate.