The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has revealed that most parts of the country will experience below normal rainfall this year, a situation the agency says will pose a challenge to food production.

While unveiling the 2017 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction compiled by NIMET in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, charged stakeholders in the agriculture and aviation sectors to take seriously the recommendations contained in the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction(SRP).

The SRP report stated that rain-fed agricultural production in Nigeria this year is needed to be backed up by irrigation to enable farmers achieve bumper harvest apart from the provision of good seeds, fertiliser and other necessary inputs.

“The expected below normal rainfall will pose challenge to enhanced food production and the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture and food security as a business towards foreign exchange earnings” the report noted

The report also warned that farmers who wished to cultivate crops such as maize and other cereals twice during the season, may face some challenges due to the predicted shorter length of the growing season this year, unless they choose the appropriate variety and undertake water-catchment measures.

“Government should, therefore, take these predictions very serious to enable it meet its projections in the current policy.” it added