Climate change: FG launches insurance roadmap for farmers
In view of the increasing impact of climate change on food production in the country, the Federal Government has launched an insurance roadmap document for Nigerian farmers.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Audu Ogbeh, during the launch in Abuja said it would help ensure food security by enabling farmers to insure their crops and obtain financial support in the occurrence of any disaster.
Represented by Permanent Secretary, Bukar Hassan, he said 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population is engaged in agriculture, while agriculture contributes about 24 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. “Yet, our agriculture is rain-fed dependent, that is, farmers rely hugely on the vagaries of weather and climate.
“Though it has been acknowledged that climate change is a global phenomenon and a reality, its impact has been devastating, as floods or drought can wipe out the entire harvest of farmers. This was the case of our farmers in 2012 and recently in 2017. Today’s launch strengthens the role of insurance in Nigeria’s agricultural resilience policy, through improved data management and sharing, and by building awareness among farmers and the financial sector to support new insurance and financial packages for farmers.”
One of the authors of the insurance roadmap, who is a Senior Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Palisades, New York, Mr. James Hansen, said the document was designed to inform development of inclusive insurance for Nigeria’s agricultural sector and was offered as a contribution to the National Agricultural Resilience Framework.
Hansen said the roadmap was a step towards helping the government and insurance sector to take steps that would guarantee more useful, better-targeted and accessible insurance to more farmers.
According to him, this is something that will encourage stakeholders to invest in smallholder agriculture.
The Director, Africa Region of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture Debisi Araba, said the roadmap document would form part of the revised edition of the National Agricultural Resilience Framework (NARF).
He said NARF is the Nigeria’s roadmap strategy to build resilience in the agricultural sector.
According to him, it is not enough to increase productivity, but you have to build resilience to ensure proper agricultural transformation.
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