The Federal Government is planning to cover 15 million farmers under the crop and livestock insurance scheme.
Government is driving the initiative in partnership with the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Company (NAIC).
Government has also released N1,130million to NAIC to help in repositioning agricultural insurance in the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina who made the disclosure in Lagos said that the move was also to ensure that the administration delivered flawless and efficient risk management services to participants in the nation’s agriculture sector.
Adesina, through the Director, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, South-West Zone, Mr Olalekan Quadri therefore urged NAIC to proceed with actions that will lead to the realisation of the objectives.
He said NAIC has been directed to ensure reform and repositioning of the agricultural insurance in the country and that government with the release of $5 million (about N1130million) the agency is fully supported in its institutional reforms to strengthen its operations and roll out more agricultural insurance products.
“I have also directed NAIC to work with global reinsurance companies to make agricultural insurance in Nigeria of global standard,” the minister said.
The government he said considers agriculture as the lifeline of the national economy which explained why it embarked on the transformation of the agricultural sector to diversify the economy, create jobs and revive the rural economy.
“We are rapidly modernising the agriculture sector to position Nigeria as a global powerhouse in food and agriculture,” he stressed.
Adesina said the ministry launched “the Growth Enhancement Scheme” to provide subsidised farm inputs to farmers through electronic coupons on their mobile phones (e-wallets).
He added that within the past three years, over 14.5 million farmers have received their farm inputs directly through the e-wallet scheme.
According to him, this includes over 2.5 million women farmers, many of whom received subsidised farm inputs for the first time.
He explained that national food production expanded by an additional 21 million metric tons within the past three years.
“The sector saved the country’s economy. Despite the depreciation in the value of the Naira and the collapse in crude oil prices, food prices have been largely stable.
According to him, the Federal Government, through the ministry, has also developed policies and risk transfer systems to protect farmers from the effects of climate change.
He said the goal of the FG was to ensure that in the next three years, over 15 million farmers are covered by crop and livestock insurance.
The chairman, Board of Directors of NAIC, Mrs Chioma Ohakim, said Nigeria’s food import bill had declined from N 3.9 trillion in 2011 to N635 billion in 2014, a decline of 408 per cent.
She pledged that the NAIC would ensure that the $5 million support from government is used in actualising its objectives. NAIC was established in 1987 and started operations in 1988.lion Farmers