Agency Organizes Seasonal Climate Predictions Workshop for Farmers, Agricultural Stakeholders

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The Director General Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) Prof. Bako Matazu has approved a Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) for agricultural stakeholders in Ogun State in a bid to boost farmers production and improve their knowledge on climate smart agriculture.

Presenting the national forecast, Head of Climate Services Unit (NiMet), Mr Adeleke Oyegade said a good knowledge of climate and weather is very much needed in every sector of the economy.

According to him, the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) is therefore an invaluable tool that is capable of ameliorating the unpleasant consequences of extreme weather and climate events.

The proper application of the SCP reduces climate-related risks, enhances production, security and revenue generation.

“The use of ENSO phase is adopted because of the strong teleconnection existing between the different phases (warm, cold, or neutral) that defines the sea surface temperature in the central Pacific Ocean and rainfall pattern in the country. The 2023 rainfall season is therefore predicted based on two ENSO phases: a weak La-Nina(cold) phase for the onset of rains, and a neutral phase which is expected to impact the length of season, end of season and total seasonal rainfall amount. There is 75 – 90% probability that the weak cold phase will continue from December 2022 to February 2023 and decrease to 56% by March after which a neutral phase will begin with a probability of about 65% and increase to 74% by April-May-June season, persisting till the June-July-August season with a lower probability. The season is therefore likely to end in an El-Nino (warm) phase by December 2023.

“The impact of a weak La Niña phase during onset and a neutral phase for the rest of the season within our region is: Early to Normal onset dates, and Normal cessation dates, length of season, and precipitation amount across the country.”

Still speaking, he said the onset of the growing season for Ogun state is anticipated to start in the southern parts of the state on 30th of March in Ogun Waterside Local Government Areas (LGA).

While the northern parts of the state are likely to have their onset from the 10th of April in around Abeokuta North, Abeokuta South, and Odeda areas.

“With an annual rainfall amount of 1530 mm of rain in the northern part of the state and 1980mm of rain in the southern part, whereas the length of growing season varies between 132-190 days.

“2023 Predicted Little Dry Season (August Break) where we would have a severe, moderate and mild dry set. The dry set is expected to start on the 21st of June with a maximum length of 4 days , minimum length of 7 days and an average length of 16 days.”

“Usually cessation starts from the northern part of the state and onset from the southern part, for planting seasons we have the pre-onset, onset and dry set. During pre-onset farmers are advised to stay away from planting to avoid loss of seedlings as this happens to be the first rainfall which is no guarantee for soil moisture to enable a conducive environment for seedlings.

“Onset which is when the soil water moisture is enough to sustain cropping is the most suitable time for planting, then dry set which is also cessation is when the soil moisture content can no longer sustain cropping; it ranges between 13th september to 25th December.”

Agro Nigeria / Foluke Ibitomi

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