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FG boosts agric insurance with N1.1b

FG boosts agric insurance with N1.1b

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has disclosed that he has directed the release of $5 million (about N110 million) to Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Company (NAIC) to support its institutional reforms.

Adesina  Chioma Ohakim

The gesture, he added, will also strengthen the company’s operations and roll out of agricultural insurance products.

The minister, who was represented by South West Regional Director, Minister of Agriculture, Olalekan Quadri, spoke during the commissioning of Lagos Head Office Annex of NAIC on Thursday.

He said the goal is to ensure that over 15 million farmers are covered by crop and livestock insurance in the next three years.

He said: “I have given directive to the National Agricultural Insurance Company (NAIC) to totally reform and reposition agricultural insurance.

“To ensure this, I have directed the release of $5 million to NAIC to support its institutional reforms, strengthening of its operations and roll out of agricultural insurance products.

“I have also directed that NAIC ensures that it works with global reinsurance companies to make agricultural insurance in Nigeria of global standard”.

In recognition of the fact that extreme weather effects are likely to become more prevalent due to climate change, Adesina pointed out that there is need to scale up agricultural insurance programmes to ensure that farmers and agribusinesses are protected.

He added: “In acknowledgement of the importance of risk management in agricultural investment, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development decided to reposition the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation in order to build its capacity and prepare it to more effectively meet the insurance needs of the agricultural sector.

“Our focus is to promote affordable crop and livestock insurance products for farmers and insurance products for agribusinesses. “Government is supporting the development of weather index insurance products for farmers, improving access to climate information and expansion of Agro-Metereological stations.

“Both agricultural insurance and reinsurance are being rapidly developed.

“Our goal is to ensure that in the next three years over 15 million farmers are covered by crop and livestock insurance,” he stated.

He further informed that within the past three years, over 14.5 million farmers have received their farm inputs directly through the e-wallet scheme, stressing that this included over 2.5 million women farmers, many of whom received subsidised farm inputs for the first time.

Adesina emphasised that the impact on food production has been massive as national food production expanded by an additional 21 million metric tons within the past three years, while the nation’s food import bill declined from N3.9 trillion in 2011 to N635 billion in 2014, a decline of 408 per cent.

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