Mitigating the consequences of hailstorms in Armenia’s agricultural sectorMay 5, 2017
A trilateral Statement of Intent was signed between ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK, the UNDP in Armenia and ARNAP Foundation – the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. The sides agreed to jointly mitigate the consequences of hailstorms in Armenia’s agricultural sector.
Within the framework of the agreement, ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK will provide targeted loans to farmers for the acquisition of anti-hail nets on a 7-year term, with an initial interest rate of 12,5 percent. In its turn, the UNDP in Armenia will provide 20 percent of necessary volume of the anti-hail nets to farmers as a grant contribution. The ARNAP Foundation, supports farmers in measuring and installation of supporting anchors and anti-hail nets, as well as provides with consultations on maintenance, usage and care of anti-hail nets.
“One of the most important goals of the project is to form and develop farming businesses in Armenia and the culture of using modern systems of anti-hail nets to protect from natural disasters. Since its establishment, the Bank stood next to farmers, being one of its main supporters. By conveying skills and knowledge to our partners during twenty years, we have always been one of the initiators of innovations and sharing the international best practice,” CEO of ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE Bank Hakob Andreasyan said.
“UNDP highlights cooperation with the private sector, which will be a new impetus for dissemination and adoption of alternative approaches for climate risks mitigation. Within the framework of this partnership, the UNDP has already imported anti-hail nets produced in Italy, which have at least 12 years of warranty and are highly efficient,” said Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Armenia. He added that UNDP will consolidate the statistical data on the installed anti-hail nets effectiveness, as well as study the data and provide recommendations to the Government of Armenia.
“Being established by the Armenian government as a structure assisting the accomplishment of the multi-branch mechanisms of disaster risk reduction, we strictly highlight this cooperation, because in addition to directly supporting Armenian farmers and contributing to the spread of alternative approaches for risk reduction, it displays the efficiency and necessity of cooperation between various structures in the process of disaster risk reduction, once again emphasizing that risk reduction cannot be the problem or monopoly of one single structure,” ARNAP Foundation acting Director Ara Barseghyan said.
The greatest harm to agriculture, in particular, to viticulture, fruit and vegetable growing is caused by hailstorms. Studies show that about 4-5 percent of agricultural production is destroyed by hailstorms in Armenia, estimated to cost about 16-20 billion drams a year. Seven out of 10 regions of Armenia are in the hazard zone.
The cost of 1 square meter of anti-hail nets for vineyards is 182 drams, and for other fruit orchards - 227 drams. Anti-hail nets during the period of blossoming and ripening of fruits secure almost 100 percent protection for trees and vines from the negative effects of hailstorms and winds, as well as from birds and large insects.