• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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LIFE-ND, NiMet train 200 farmers on climate-smart agricultural knowledge

LIFE-ND, NiMet train 200 farmers on climate-smart agricultural

The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises-Niger Delta (LIFE-ND), an International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) project, in collaboration with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has trained about 200 farmers on the use of the agency’s technological services to better plan and prepare for the 2023 farming season.

Speaking with the participants drawn from Edo, Delta and Cross Rivers, in Benin City, Jude Ekpu, Edo state coordinator of LIFE-ND, said the training was aimed at supporting the project’s beneficiary farmers with climate-smart agricultural knowledge so as to increase the productivity and livelihood of the farmers in their various communities.

Ekpu stressed that enhanced provision of climate services has been observed to be critical for reducing the impacts of climate change and providing significant contribution to socio-economic development of the rural communities.

“The important contributions of meteorology to public safety and well-being are well recognized. Farmers need information about the timing and duration of rains to make important decisions on when to plant, what to plant, and how to plant. This is especially crucial in the face of climate variability as changes in rainfall and temperature will have significant effects in rural communities in terms of food security and rising above poverty level, where farmers there depend on rain-fed agriculture for their food and livelihoods.

“The links between food insecurity and poverty are clear. Factoring weather and climate information into agricultural decision-making has optimized agricultural production globally. Unfortunately, there is a lack of access to weather and climatic data in rural areas, where the majority of rural farms are rain-fed. Such information, which is essential for farmers, is seen by LIFE-ND as one way to reduce poverty and hunger,” Ekpu explained.

Read also: Firm commits to farmers’ access to quality inputs

Haruna Zakari, general manager, Agrometerology, on his part, noted that the knowledge gap earlier observed prior to the training on the use of NiMet services had now been bridged, saying “This sensitization is working positively. There are lots of take-home for our participants on what we have done so that they can improve their livelihood in their respective enterprises.

Ughulu Peter, a beneficiary of the project, said the training had equipped him with the capacity to make better planning in cassava cultivation, provided him with information on the use of the crop calendar and promised to relay knowledge gained to members of his community

“The use of the NiMet mobile application has increased my knowledge on applying climate-smart agricultural techniques and tools to improve my farming activities,” he said.

The participants received training from the NiMet team on the use of the NiMet App as a climate-smart agricultural tool as well as the National weather forecast 2023, Edo State forecast, crop calendar, Delta State forecast, and Cross River State forecast.