Adesina calls for policies on agric risk transfer
THE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has called for the development of policies on risk transfer systems to protect government and farmers from effects of climate change.
Speaking at the commissioning of Lagos Head office annex of the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) in Lagos, said “as we continue to modernize the agricultural sector, we will ensure that farmers are protected from the effects of climate change. The devastating floods of 2012 was a wake up call for the need to develop policies and risk transfer systems to protect government and farmers.
The Minister who was represented by Director, South West, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Lekan Quadri, said as we go forward we must recognize that extreme weather effects are likely to become more common due to climate change. To ensure that farmers and agribusinesses are protected there is need to scale up agricultural insurance programs. He said, “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”. According to him, “I have given directive to (NAIC) to totally reform and reposition agricultural insurance. To ensure this, I have directed the release of $ US 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”. The chairman of the Board of Directors, Lady Chjioma Ohakim, in her remarks said during the various sittings of the board, various strategies were advanced in collaboration with management on how to reposition the corporation towards attaining set corporate objectives.
“It goes without saying that today’s occasion is one of the results of these many acts of synergy employed towards enhancing the visib ility of the corporation in the nation’s business environment and also in furtherance of the agricultural transformation agenda of President Jonathan’s administration through efficient and effective agricultural risk management.” She said “agriculture is fast becoming a veritable alternative to oil and on the verge of reclaiming its rightful position as a major source of national revenue, given the current fall of oil process at the international market and the attendant consequences on the national budget and the socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians.
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