By Chinedu Eze
The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF) at the weekend signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for establishing a collaborative relationship to provide weather information to farmers under the foundation.
According to the Executive Director of BATNF, Mrs. Oluaseyi Ashade, the objective of the partnership is for NIMET to provide weather information including the likely period of dry spell and locations of likely flash flood occurrences to farmers who are grossly dependent on rain fed agriculture.
BATNF also wants to train implementing partner organisations on critical threshold of weather and climate monitoring and to provide other technical support for the attainment of the full economic potential for the smallholder farmers.
BATNF would provide weather information dissemination platforms through different sessions of agronomics and other household economic strengthening trainings across the number of states where BATNF’s activities are carried out. The trainings include pre-season and in-season among other trainings for lead farmers and other relevant users.
The event was attended by the new Director General of NIMET, Professor Sani Abubakar Marshi and the out-going one, Dr. Anthony Anuforom.
The outgoing Director General of NIMET, Anuforom explained that the services of the agency cut across every sector of the economy, from agriculture to maritime, aviation, oil and gas, tourism and others; although the agency is attached to the aviation industry.
On why he was part of the signing ceremony, Anuforom said he had served two terms of five years and the second tenure ended this year, although, according to the letter of appointment of the new Director General, Professor Sani Abubakar Marshi, he has to understudy the out-going Director General who would proceed for terminal leave on March 25, 2017.
“We are in transition and I am working with the new Director General,” he said.
Speaking at the ceremony Marshi said: “We at NIMET are extremely happy with the relationship with British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation. We will give you the necessary support. We are in a transition. We will have expectation that our partners will collect information at the lower level which we will work with like Katsina state did for us to make necessary adjustment for more effective weather prediction.”
The British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation BATNF is an independent charitable organization incorporated in Nigeria on November 13, 2002 as a Company Limited by Guarantee in fulfillment of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the British American Tobacco Group and the Federal Government of Nigeria in year 2001.
BATNF provides technical assistance to build productive capacity of smallholder farmers thereby transiting them from subsistence to commercial agriculture. It focuses on Rice, Cassava, Maize, Vegetables, Oil palm, Poultry and Aquaculture value chains in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).