By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
Take early warning signals from meteorological unit on rainfall and flood predictions to boost food security and mitigate losses on agricultural investment federal government advised farmers.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha gave the advice while delivering a convocation lecture for 42nd Convocation and Diamond Jubilee Ceremony at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) on Saturday in Zaria.
The lecture was themed, “the impact of natural disasters on food security and agricultural development in Nigeria’’.
Mustapha said the theme had underscores the fact that the ABU remains committed to the pursuit of knowledge in prescribing solutions to issues as they evolved for the benefit of the society.
“Nigeria is just getting out of COVID-19 pandemic and 2022 flooding. Consequently, there is a compelling need for unity of action towards containing the man-made and natural disasters in the country,’’ he said.
He classified flooding experience in Nigeria as a man-made disaster, added that forms of flooding in Nigeria were caused mainly by a complete disregard and disrespect for the environment.
However, he said that empirical evidence seems to be pointing to the fact that the cyclical occurrence of flood (2012, 2022 and if it happens in 2032) could move it from being man made to natural.
While noting that any form of disaster either natural or man-made could be detrimental to agricultural practices and hamper efficient crop yield, health of livestock, fisheries among others.
According to him, one of the government’s efforts at mitigating the challenge was strengthening the early warning system through anticipatory action programs to empower communities before incidence of flood.
He, therefore, urged agricultural extension agents and other relevant stakeholders to take early warning signals that came from the meteorological unit on the potentials of flood to the farmers.
He said flood has become more predictable than it can be predicted every year, farmers should also leverage on the agricultural insurance scheme against natural hazards.
To further enhance agricultural infrastructure, attract young people to farming and investors, the SGF said the government was contemplating replicating the COVID-19 response strategies to enhance agriculture.
“I have the privilege of chairing the National Response to COVID-19 and I saw the interplay of the synergy between the government and corporate
The chairman of the occasion who was also the chairman of CACOVID Response, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, where the corporate organizations came together and supported the government in the fight against COVID-19 under his leadership, he had isolation centers and molecular laboratories constructed across the length and breadth of this country.
In his remarks, the Chancellor of the University, Nnaemeka Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, preached for more national unity and urged the government to create more awareness on the benefits of agricultural insurance to farmers