Farmers decry withholding of policy premium by banks
Farmers in the country have expressed concerns over the withholding of insurance premiums by some banks, a development they considered inimical to the growth of the agriculture sector.
National Deputy President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Segun Atho, who raised the concern at the just-concluded Africa Re and International Finance Corporation (IFC) Agriculture Insurance Workshop, in Lagos, noted that some banks do slow down the growth of agriculture businesses by withholding insurance premiums deducted from credits granted to farmers.
He implored insurers to do more in engaging farmers, especially by visiting their farm sites, which according to him, would enable insurers obtain first-hand knowledge of challenges faced by farmers.
He also called on insurers to develop products that meet the general need of farmers, stressing that they will be willing to purchase products that attend to their needs.
The Executive Officer, Sanu Agrovet Services, Dr. Crowther Sanu, said for agriculture insurance to be perfect in Nigeria, banks should remitted premiums immediately to insurers, while underwriters in turn, go for farms identification/monitoring to identify genuine insured farmers and their locations. Banks should make a list of insured genuine farmers that will be submitted immediately to the insurers, and farmers should adhere to good agronomy practice.
He also urged community association executives to do the right thing, by giving genuine farmers inputs, and stop playing politics with the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), stop selling but give farmers inputs at the right time.
He called on government extension agents to assist farmers, while commodity association executives should stop the exploitation by giving them unnecessary high estimated production cost, adding that commodity associations should be sincere in reporting genuine claims, and insurers should pay claims on time to enable farmers smile.
Sanu posited that prompt payment of claims would enable farmers repay their loans to the banks, thereby leading to increased food production; increased contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP); food security; job creation, and security of the people is guaranteed.