Nigerian Meteorological Agency on Tuesday advised farmers to avoid hasty planting so as to prevent losses due to the false onset of rains recorded in various parts of the country.
It specifically stated that farmers in the North-Central zone, particularly those in Nassarawa, Niger, Benue, Abuja and neighbouring states such as Kaduna should take this advice seriously.
The Director-General, NiMet, Mansur Matazu, who said this in Abuja, noted that the recent rainfall in many parts of Nigeria was a false onset of the rainy season.
He said, “The recent rainfall recorded over the central states as well as Kaduna, in the North-West from 12th to 20th March, 2021 is a false onset as captured accurately in the 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction.
“The recorded rainfall is as a result of the forcing functions namely, Mid-latitude wave and the Madden Julian Oscillation that led to the Northward pull of the inter-tropical discontinuity and increased moisture into the country.”
Matazu stated that the above developments coupled with the abundant energy in the atmosphere resulted in the recent rainfall events in and around Kaduna, Nassarawa, Niger, Benue and the Federal Capital Territory.
The NiMet boss explained that the onset of the rains in the South-South of Nigeria had been established as predicted in the 2021 SCP, which was from March 1 to March 20.
“The forecast for the South-West and South-Eastern part of the country are gradually being established in line with the predicted date of 13th March to 25th April,” he stated.
In spite of the advice, the agency however recommended that other preparatory planting activities such as clearing, purchase of inputs by farmers, among others, should commence as scheduled.
It stated that the earlier predicted onset of rains for the rest of the country remained valid, with the central states witnessing the rains in late April to mid-May, while the Northern states would experience theirs in late May to June ending.
It stated that in line with its statutory mandate, NiMet would continue to issue updates as the need arises, as the agency also commemorated the World Meteorological Day 2021 on Tuesday in Abuja.