The livestock sector in Nigeria could witness an outbreak of diseases, as parasites might hit fish ponds in parts of the country this year, latest findings by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency have shown.
In its 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction, the agency stated that the volume of rainfall that would be experienced this year could trigger the spread of diseases in animals.
On its prediction for the country’s livestock sector, it stated that for ruminants, the outbreak of diseases could reduce feed intake.
“The predicted normal to above normal rainfall amounts in most places may create conducive environment for breeding of parasites that cause outbreak of diseases and invariably reduce feed intake,” the report stated.
It added, “It is therefore advised that farmers TO keep their herds dry by using dry straws and fumigate against pathogens.
“Also, farmers should ensure that their animals are not made to stand for long on wet grounds.”
The agency further noted that in aquaculture, there could be an outbreak of parasites, adding that many fish ponds could overflow this year as a result of the amount of rain expected in 2021.
“The predicted normal to above normal rainfall amounts in some parts of the country may create a conducive environment for breeding of parasites and fish pond overflowing,” the SCP stated.
The agency advised operators in aquaculture to dredge out mud and weeds from ponds with the aim of making it deeper to hold much water during the raining season.
It said, “Farmers are advised to plant trees such as plantain, banana, etc, around the pond to maintain optinum temperature and the pond should be made clean frequently during this period. Never construct ponds on waterways.”
For the poultry sector, the report stated that the day and night temperatures this year would positively affect production in the industry.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, while speaking about the SCP in Abuja recently, explained that the report was a national publication designed to provide climate information early regarding the upcoming season.
He said the aim was to assist all relevant stakeholders and user communities to factor the predictions in their policies and activities for the year.
“The 2021 SCP document contains onset dates of planting season, end of the season, length of the planting season, annual total rainfall amount, temperature forecast, dry spell forecast, little dry season forecast, socio-economic implications, malaria and cerebrospinal meningitis forecast for the year 2021.
“This is an important information for all Nigerians. It is crucial that government and individuals have access to this science-based forecast that is derived from robust data, and is updated consistently.”
Sirika noted that consequently, every possible measure should be taken to ensure the appropriate dissemination of the information contained in the SCP to local levels in the language they understand.