In other to reduce Agro-meteorological risk, the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending and the Nigeria Meteorological Agency signed a memorandum of understanding to share vital weather information needed by farmers to make informed decisions. This is a great collaborative effort to boost local food production and food Security in Nigeria and West Africa. The partnership was formalized at the weekend.
The agreement, signed at the headquarters of NIRSAL, seeks to end weather and climate related losses incurred by farmers due to paucity of information on temperature, onset of rainfall and dry spells, cessation of rainfall and others.
The Managing Director, NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed signed on behalf of NIRSAL while the Director-General of NiMET, Prof Sani Mashi signed on behalf of his agency.
According to the NIRSAL boss in ‘the partnership would guide farmers against false-onset rain and recommend risk measures in places that will experience severe dry spells’.
It was noted that some states in Nigeria are to experience severe dry spells, they include Bauchi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi, Borno and Yobe.
He said the dry spell was expected to last between ten and 21 days.
“NIRSAL has embarked on an ambitious programme of structuring agricultural primary production in Nigeria with the much applauded Agro GeoCoop initiative in the field.
“This platform presents an organised setting for finance, market and risk management.
“Agro-meteorological risk policies based on NiMet’s data can be promoted to support the insurance industry in Nigeria.
The NIRSAL boss said with 16,000 Agro GeoCoops, four million hectares and eight million farmers, it is sufficient for NiMet to align its strategy for siting weather stations in those commodity ecological areas.
Abdulhameed said the partnership would go further to pursuing the development of crop-specific calendars for NIRSAL’s focus commodities.
This, Aliyu added, would provide precise information on planting, maintenance and harvesting within NiMet’s data.
The NiMeT boss in his comment described the partnership as a perfect and timely synergy needed to promote climate-smart agriculture in agricultural activities.
According to him, NiMET would provide the necessary support to NIRSAL to reach as many farmers as possible by designing and developing effective strategies for disseminating agro-meteorological services to farmers
“We will therefore be developing site specific cropping calendars in line with your focus commodities in the agricultural value chain across the country,” he added.
Mashi said the devastating effects of climate change has raised concerns because any threat to agriculture and environment is a threat to food and nutrition security.
He affirmed that the agency was ready to partner with relevant stakeholders to catalyze economic growth.