Agric min­is­ter urges farm­ers to take in­sur­ance cover

Daily Trust - - AGRICULTURE - From Nahimah Ajikanle Nu­rudeen, La­gos

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.

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