• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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FG mulls Catastrophe Insurance for 11million farmers

The federal government on Thursday said it is planning to take a Catastrophe Insurance that will cover 11 million farmers.

This is part of the outcome of the 137th edition of the National Economic Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima.

The Vice President implored Governors of the 36 states of the federation to work towards revamping Nigeria’s agricultural sector, with a view to reducing dependence on food imports and attaining greater food self-sufficiency.

This, he noted, resonates well with the investments and commitment of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to establishing Specialised Agro Processing Zones (SAPZ) in the country.

The Insurance is expected to cover natural disasters such as drought, flood, locusts, cyclones and diseases.

“It also covers 22 crops such as maize, rice, wheat (80%) as well as pulses, oilseeds, sugar crops, roots & tubers, cash crops (cotton, coffee, cocoa) and livestock,” he said.

The scope of the programme also includes insurance for over 11 million smallholder farmers and pastoralists; over 100 distribution partners; 67 insurers and 22 global reinsurers.

The initiative has so far successfully delivered crop insurance across the country.

Read also: Africa assumes onus on disaster relief with catastrophe insurance pool

For the North East states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States, Rice, Maize, Wheat, Cotton, Cowpeas, soybeans and Millet have been captured. In the North West States of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara, Rice, Maize, Wheat, Cotton, Cowpeas and soybeans were captured.

In the North Central states of Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau and FCT, Rice, Maize, Wheat, Cotton, Cowpeas, Soy Beans and Cassava have been captured. For the South West, Rice, Maize, Cotton, Cassava and Soy Beans have been insured particularly in Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Osun and Oyo, while in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Rice, Maize, Cassava and Cotton were insured.

The NEC, is a statutory body that has the mandate to advise the President on the nation’s economic affairs, with the Governors of the 36 states of the federation, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Minister of Finance and other stakeholders as members.

Shettima insists Agric must be developed

According to the Vice President, “Our upcoming task must be rooted in recognizing the agrarian nature of our economy. We must strive for deliberate value addition in the agricultural sector, moving away from commodity exports towards job creation.

“Collaboration is vital in enabling the Specialized Agro Processing Zones (SAPZ) Programme spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in partnership with the Africa Development Bank (AfDB).

“Your Excellencies, we must develop our agricultural sector towards self-sufficiency and exporting processed agricultural products in line with the African Union’s Africa 2063 Agenda. This also aligns with AfDB’s investments and commitment to establishing the SAPZ. Collaboratively, we should harness our agricultural comparative and complementary advantages across the value chains of priority crops within the SAPZ.”

…Plans NEC retreat,flood mitigation roadmap

Shettima also hinted about the possibility of engaging the private sector in tackling floods and other natural disasters, saying considering the financial implications of managing natural disasters, the government cannot do it alone.

He said he was aware of the financial implications of managing natural disasters, adding that “we cannot tackle this alone. Innovative capital pools from the private sector can help share and mitigate fiscal and economic risks posed by such disasters. This approach has been successful in other African countries, preparing for low-probability yet highly disruptive ‘black swan’ events.

Read also: Insurance sector reaffirms support for economy, businesses despite headwinds

“Once again, we find ourselves bearing the weight of the nation. Since our last gathering, much has transpired, with each event punctuated by the nation’s reactions. None of us here requires a reminder of the direction we are headed or what is required to ensure that we stand together through the storm to fulfill our promises to the people. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you back, back to the 137th meeting of the National Economic Council, our engine room”.

Recalling that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had recently highlighted eight presidential priorities for his administration, which serve as a conduit to his Renewed Hope Agenda, Shettima told the governors and other members of Council to get “involved in seeking both short-term palliative and enduring solutions to the consequences of our reforms.”

During the presentation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said the Catastrophe Insurance, is a proposal to NEC for the adoption of a Pula initiative, a programme for the development of parametric crop Insurance through yield and weather index Insurance.