THE Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has unfolded plans to enhance farmers’ ability to produce enough agricultural raw materials to stop the current importation of agricultural raw materials worth $22 billion.
At the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between NIRSAL and International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) on Climate Risk Profiling for Nigeria in Abuja, Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed also disclosed that the company has facilitated bank funding of US$375million for agribusinesses across the value chain in the last three planting seasons.
According to him, a review of climate risk profile reports of African countries like Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya, it is apparent that agriculture and water resources are always the most adversely affected by key climate impacts and this weakens the fight against poverty, food insecurity and resource depletion.
Abdulhameed explained that NIRSAL/CIAT partnership for the development of climate risk profiles for Nigeria will strengthen existing decision support systems in agriculture; build the capacity of stakeholders for identifying and managing climate risks in agribusiness and; facilitate the development of robust response plans and programs for a climate-resilient Agricultural Sector.
“Today we are witnessing the formal inauguration of a high-value collaboration between NIRSAL PLC and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) towards the delivery of a Climate Risk Profiling Project in Nigeria.
“The Project is aimed at providing an overview of climate risk issues and vulnerabilities across agro-ecological zones in the country as well as indications of how climate change will potentially impact agricultural production, water resources, energy and human health.
Abdulhameed disclosed that Since inception, NIRSAL has trained over 700,000 farmers on good agronomic practices and financial education, and provided high-quality agricultural inputs and affordable finance to more than 500,000 smallholder farmers under 3 farming seasons from 2017 to 2018.
The MoU will also guide climate-smart agricultural investments and enable the flow of additional finance into climate-smart agricultural approaches from development finance sources such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF), World Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Adaptation Fund, Green Climate Fund, etc.
“Furthermore, beyond the agricultural sector, the development of climate risk profiles for Nigeria would provide a structured and systematic approach for prioritising the nation’s efforts at achieving climate-compatible development.”
Also speaking, Director, Africa Region of CIAT, Debisi Araba said his organisation, which was established in 1967 along with IITA to take care of South America will impart its global experience on NIRSAL staff.
He said farmers will have the benefit of foreknowledge on the variety of crop they will plant in any particular season depending on whether there would be drought or flood thus reducing losses and enhancing profitability.