Agric minister urges farmers to take insurance cover
Nigerian farmers have been advised to insure their agricultural activities as a way of sustaining their business.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Akinwumi Adesina made the call at a book launch on agriculture finance written by a top banker Mr. Isaac Abolade Agbola.
Adesina, represented by the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Company (NAIC) Mr. Bode Opadokun, at the launch of the book titled: “Agricultural Finance: A practical approach for lenders and entrepreneurs,” lamented the cold attitude of farmers, especially the small scale ones, to the insurance policy.
The minister decried that many were farmers often out of business immediately they experience any form of disaster due to lack of insurance cover.
He stressed the need for both small and large scale farmers to insure their business.
Adesina said insurance policy, if embraced, would keep the farmers in the business regardless of any disaster that may occur to their agricultural activities.
“The role of insurance is to make sure that in all of these projects, financial investment is protected, to make agricultural investment more secured so that the financial institutions would be willing to pump more finance into agriculture sector, thereby stabilising investment,” he said.
The minister hinted that it was in view of that consideration that the Federal Government established the Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Company.
Adesina further noted: “NAIC has various insurance covers which could be taken by farmers because agricultural disaster does not affect the farmers only, it affects the whole agricultural chain value right from the supplier of input materials down to the consumers, and it therefore needed to be insured.”
The author of the book Mr. Agbola said lack of awareness and advisory role were some of the reasons farmers do not insure their business.
According to him, financial institutions were not helping the situation, saying most banks were not ready to support the farmers’ due to fear of loss.
He also blamed the insurance companies for not reaching out to the farmers, accusing them of not having the knowledge of farming business.
“There are levels of disasters at which government and international bodies have to come in so that our farmers would have incentives to continuously produce no matter what happens,” he added.