By Cecilia Ijuo
The Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) says it is partnering with All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) to insure over 40 million farmers across Nigeria against flooding and other disasters.
The Managing Director of NAIC, Mrs Folashade Joseph, made this known at a meeting with AFAN on Friday in Abuja.
She said the move had become necessary in view of losses incurred by farmers owing to flooding and other forms of disasters.
Joseph said efforts were already being put in place to come up with a scheme that would ensure farmers, particularly smallholder farmers, were able to pay affordable premium.
“AFAN is paying a visit to an establishment that has been marching alongside Nigerian farmers in their onerous duty of securing the nation from being decimated through hunger and malnutrition.
” NAIC’s drive has consistently been that every Nigerian farmer deserves to be protected from the effects of weather and other natural hazards.
“These hazards are mostly unpredictable and inescapable in the process of primary production of agricultural commodities.
” It is noteworthy that the impact of these natural hazards on investment of these categories of farmers could be devastating to the point of driving such farmers into hopelessness and despondency,” she said.
The managing director said part of NAIC’s effort to help farmers mitigate effect of losses was the annual sensitisation programmes organised to discuss on the importance of insurance.
She added that the target of NAIC was to give effective insurance cover to at least 10 million farmers, majority of whom do not have access to credit.
According to her, the insurance cover will be such that the guarantee given by the corporation would secure them during disaster of any sort.
Joseph expressed pleasure for the opportunity to partner with AFAN to reach vulnerable small holder farmers whose investments were self-funded and vulnerable to the effects of nature and climate change.
“It is important to state that the corporation is determined to make a special arrangement that will provide insurance cover for these categories of Nigerian farmers.
” This will be done under a special sub-scheme that will put smiles. on their faces all year round.”
She called on AFAN to help put mechanism in place to reach out to members on the benefits of taking the NAIC Insurance cover for their investments.
She assured them that the corporation was prepared to welcome suggestions that would lead to provision of effective and satisfactory insurance cover to farmers.
The President of AFAN, Mr Kabiru Ibrahim, said it was time farmers took the issue of insurance seriously in view of its importance, particularly in times of losses.
He said farmers in some parts of the country had begun to count their losses to flooding owing to the onset of rains.
According to him, the insurance of their produce will provide succour in times of disaster.
He said, “we are looking at agribusiness as a country and as such insurance is important.
” What this development will do to farmers is to give them the assurance that there is succour in the case of any form of loss.
“I want to assure you that AFAN is ready to partner with NAIC to make Nigeria a great nation.