By Abolaji Adebayo
In a bid to encourage farmers and reduce the risks encountered in their activities, the federal government has declared support of 50 per cent of farmers’ insurance in agricultural value chain.
According to the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), the gesture by the government was aimed at encouraging farmers to embrace insurance, noting that farmer’s attitude to insurance in Nigeria was not encouraging.
Speaking in Abuja on Monday while briefing newsmen on the activities of the corporation, the Managing Director, NAIC, Folashade Joseph, expressed dismay at the farmers’ refusal to take up insurance despite the benefits inherent in it.
Joseph stated that the insurance would rather sustain the farmer across the agriculture value chain if embraced, adding that it is the focal point of the government to curb agricultural risk.
The NAIC boss urged farmers to insure their farms against natural disasters such as flood, diseases and erosion.
“Agriculture insurance is what a lot of farmers across the value chain do not do. They see it as an additional cost but it is not. We have had testimonies from farmers that went into tomato farming and when there was tomato Ebola, that was the end of their farms.
“Government has subsided insurance for farmers by 50 per cent. For instance, for crops, if you are to pay a premium of N4, NAIC will charge farmers N2.
“That is 50 per cent of subsidy for farmers across the agriculture value chain. So it is an advantage for farmers to take and make sure that they insure their farms and remain in business in case of natural disasters,” she said.
She informed that the corporation would soon start sensitization of farmers by organizing forums to educate them on the importance of insurance.
“If you spend a lot of money across the agriculture value chain and you do not insure, what happens if there is a natural disaster?
“The cost should be taken care of by insurance companies and that is what NAIC stands for.
“We exist so that farmers can smile. We de-risk the natural disasters of farmers across the value chain,’’ the NAIC boss said.