The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has presented rain gauges and measuring cylinders to the British American Tobacco Nigeria Foundation (BATNF).
Speaking during the presentation of rain gauges at the Leaf Head Office, BATN, Iseyin Agronomy Limited, Iseyin, Oyo State, the director general and chief executive officer of NiMet, Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi said the presentation was done in fulfillment of its agreement with the company to provide it (BATNF) with technical support, weather information as well as train BATNF’s field officers.
Abubakar who was represented at the event by the general manager/head of weather forecasting services department, Mr. Ibrahim Ishiyaku, said the gesture would help BATNF fulfill its objective of providing support for smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
“The event is not just a demonstration of the agency’s support for the federal government food security programme but also a practical commitment to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with BATNF.
“The event will translate to better forecasts for farmers and guarantee improved yields. NiMet is not only presenting the rain gauges and measuring cylinders but will also train field officers of the BATNF on the use of the weather instruments for climate monitoring,” he said.
The director general admonished BATNF to ensure proper maintenance of the equipment as well as commit to transmission of the data to NiMet for improved weather forecasting services.
Earlier in his remarks, the executive director of BATNF, Ms. Abimbola Okoya noted that the Foundation had a long history of collaboration with NiMet which was officially sealed with the signing of MoU last February.
She said the event “marks a significant milestone in gathering data on rainfall at the selected communities where BATNF support rural smallholder farmers in Oyo state.
She also said NiMet, through the partnership, supported the Foundation to train farmers and extension agents in Niger, Benue, Kaduna, and Gombe states this farming season.
Okoya expressed gratitude to NiMet for the unflinching support and commitment in making the collaboration a success and putting smiles on the faces of farmers.
Also speaking, BATN’s head, Leaf Operations, Mr. Thomas Omotoye said the collaboration “has effectively addressed the challenges they face from lack of adequate rainfall data to support our operations.”
Omotoye said the collaboration “is an empowerment opportunity because it will not only impact positively on the integrity of the BATNF, but also on farmers’ expectations in terms of production, loan repayment as well as expected profit.”