By Omolola Pedro
The Federal Government of Nigeria has issued an advice to farmers to pay close attention to rainfall predictions and early warning signals to prevent loss of crops and damage to flooding.
This was made known by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, during a public lecture for the 42nd Convocation and Diamond Jubilee Ceremony at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria titled “The Impact of Natural Disasters on Food Security and Agricultural Development in Nigeria”.
FarmingFarmersFarms gathered that Mustapha told farmers that if they want to avoid disasters and losses, they should listen to and follow weather forecasts from the meteorological unit.
He said, “Nigeria is just getting out of (Coronavirus disease) COVID-19 pandemic and 2022 flooding. Consequently, there is a compelling need for unity of action towards containing man-made and natural disasters in the country’.’
He described the issue of flooding in Nigeria as a man-made disaster, adding that the it was primarily caused by a complete disregard and disrespect for the environment. However, he also noted that empirical evidence seems to be pointing to the fact that the cyclical occurrence of floods (In 2012, 2022, and if it happens in 2023), could move it from being man-made to natural.
Speaking further at the event, Mustapha noted that any form of disaster, either natural or man-made, could be detrimental to agricultural practices and hamper the health of livestock and fisheries, efficient crop yield, among others.
He added that one of the government’s efforts at mitigating the problem was to strengthen the early warning system through anticipatory action programs to empower communities prior to the occurrence of floods and that flood had become more predictable than it can be predicted every year, urging farmers to leverage on the Agricultural Insurance Scheme against natural hazards.
The University Chancellor, Dr. Nnaemeka Achebe, who is the Obi of Onitsha, advocated for greater national unity and urged the government to raise farmer awareness of the benefits of agricultural insurance.