‘Low rainfall will threaten food production this year’

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Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

Most parts of the country will experience below normal rainfall this year and this will pose a challenge to food production, the Nigeria Meteorological Agency has said.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who unveiled the 2017 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction put together by NIMET in Abuja on Tuesday, urged stakeholders in the agriculture and aviation sectors to take seriously the recommendations contained in the SRP.

The SRP report noted that rain-fed agricultural production in Nigeria this year needed to be supported with irrigation to enable farmers get good yield apart from the provision of good seeds, fertiliser and other necessary inputs.

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The report stated, “The expected below normal rainfall will pose challenge to enhanced food production and the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture and food security as a business towards foreign exchange earnings.

“Government should, therefore, take these predictions very serious to enable it meet its projections in the current policy.”

It stated that the predicted shorter length of the growing season this year would also pose a challenge for farmers who desired to cultivate crops such as maize and other cereals twice during the season, unless they choose the appropriate variety and undertake water-catchment measures.

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