By Gabriel Agbeja
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), on Monday in Abuja, advised farmers in the North-Central zone against hasty planting to avoid losses due to the false onset of rains recorded.
Its Director-General, Prof. Mansur Matazu, in a statement by Mr Muntari Ibrahim, General Manager, Public Relations, listed Nassarawa, Niger, Benue, Abuja and neighbouring states like Kaduna, to adhere strictly to the advice.
According to him, the recent rainfall activities recorded over the central states, as well as Kaduna in the North-West between March 12 and March 20, is a false onset as captured accurately in the 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP).
“ The recorded rainfall is as a result of the forcing functions namely: Mid-latitude wave and the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) that led to the Northward pull of the inter-tropical discontinuity (ITD) and increased moisture into the country.
“The above, 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.
“Onset of the rains in the South-South of the country has been established as predicted in the 2021 SCP, that is, March 1 to March 20, 2021,“ he said.
According to him, the forecast for the South-West and South-Eastern part of the country are gradually being established in line with the predicted date of March 13 to April 25.
The agency, however, recommended other preparatory planting activities such as clearing, purchase of inputs by farmers to commence as scheduled.
“However, the earlier predicted onset of rains for the rest of the country remains 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.
“In line with its statutory mandate, NiMet will continue to issue update as the need arises,“ he said. (NAN)