Weather: Expert advocates access to information for precision in crop cultivation

Following recent weather variations, an agriculture expert, Mr Ismail Olawale, has called for adequate access to information to ensure precision in crop cultivation.

Olawale, a fellow at the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), made the statement recently in Lagos.

The expert said, “in spite the limitations of weather to agriculture productivity, having adequate information on weather prediction was necessary in crop cultivation. Weather is one of the major things that affects agricultural activities and production. It affects all the processes of agriculture cultivation. It is important that local farmers have access to concise information on weather prediction, so as to use for the right purpose.

“Before the advent of science, these farmers used traditional knowledge to predict weather before the planting, cultivating and harvesting.

The problem in understanding science as regards variation in weather patterns is that most local farmers are illiterate which makes it difficult to disseminate these information to them.

Aside this, big scale and literate farmers have the necessary information they need to ascertain with precision when to cultivate their crops”.

Olawale said that unfavourable weather adversely affected crop yield and quality.

He further said that crops thrive better in different weathers depending on their nature.

“The current weather condition will either affect crops positively or negatively depending on the crop type. From reliable data we have gathered that this year will be colder across the world. Some crops thrive in cold in weather while some reduce their productivity in such weather condition. For example, crops like cocoa cannot do well in cold weather. Unfavourable weather will always affect crops productivity level one way or another.”

He also disclosed that NEARLS in collaboration with the Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET) in partnership with other relevant bodies would embark on a national survey of agricultural performance in the country.

“As an extension services agency we are working overtime to keep the farmers abreast of weather prediction and variations. NEARLS also is set to embark on a yearly agriculture performance survey to be able to ascertain the level of productivity in the sector. The survey will also evaluate the challenges farmers have been face with in terms of flooding, dry spells, etc. and how it affects their productivity. The survey will be conducted across the 36 states of the country in collaboration with other agencies such as NIMET and the office of National Statistics to analyse our agriculture performance”.

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