Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Plc, on Wednesday, disclosed that it has so far facilitated funding from commercial banks for agribusinesses across the value chain to the tune of US$375 million from 2017 till date.
It also said over 700,000 farmers have been trained on good agronomic practices and financial education, and provided high quality agricultural inputs and affordable finance to more than 500,000 smallholder farmers under three farming seasons from 2017 to 2018.
The aim of the huge investments in agriculture is to save Nigeria a whopping $22 billion annually through import substitution.
Managing Director of NIRSAL, Aliyu Abdulhammed, made these disclosures, in Abuja, while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NIRSAL and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) towards the delivery of a Climate Risk Profiling Project in Nigeria.
The Project, he noted, was 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.
According the NIRSAL boss, the organization recognizes the importance of strategic partnerships as critical success factors for the delivery of our agriculture and agribusiness value chain financing and risk management operations.
READ ALSO: APC UK backs Osinbajo over removal of Daura
“We have built capabilities and expertise for effectively leveraging, managing and maximizing strategic partnerships for mutual benefits and achievement of objectives and are convinced that this partnership with CIAT is one that would yield positive results that would be celebrated by Nigeria and Nigerians”, he explained.
He further revealed that the project was in sync with the NIRSAL mandate of de-risking agriculture and facilitating agri-business and we are convinced that the partnership will birth even more invaluable projects and programs that will deliver immense benefits to the sector and economy at large.
“NIRSAL is not only conscious of climate change, we understand the effects that climate risk issues have on the current and and could have on the future productivity of agricultural value chains and the sustainable development of the sector as a whole.
“To demonstrate our climate-smartness as an organization, NIRSAL has a Climate-Smart Agriculture and Renewable Energy Business Unit that is saddled with the responsibility of aligning our operations and interventions with Nigeria’s NDC targets and pursuing climate-compatible approaches to agriculture in Nigeria.
READ ALSO: 6 Kano Assembly members defect to PDP
In his presentation at the event, the Africa Director of CIAT, Dr. Debisi Araba said part of the deal with NIRSAL entails the organization bringing knowledge, that it will share with NIRSAL on how to further de-risk the agricultural sector by training them on effects of climate change on agriculture.
This partnership he explained “will help farmers to be prepared for any unforeseen weather variations and insulate them from the vulnerabilities of weather changes across the six geopolitical zones”, he said.