Mrs. Joseph (2nd left) with delegates from NAIC at the event.
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Chuks Udo Okonta
Agricultural insurance is to complement the efforts of the Federal Government on financial inclusion thereby making farmers happy and comfortable, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Mrs. Folashade Joseph, has said,
Joseph, who disclosed this to journalists at the just concluded 46th African Insurance Organisation (AIO) in Johannesburg, South Africa, noted that, while the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is providing soft agricultural loans to farmers, NAIC is complementing this effort by insuring these farmers, in a bid to incorporate them in the financial system.
Financial inclusion, she said, ensures that more people, especially, those in the informal sector of the economy, are brought into the financial system, to aid proper economic planning, enhances savings culture and increases loanble funds in the banking sector, which contributes to the healthiness of the entire financial sector value-chain.
Stating that agriculture contributes more to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), she added that, her corporation was specifically created to cater for the entire agricultural value-chain, of which farmers are major.
According to her, ” We aim to boost the economy through agriculture. Agriculture has contributed much to the nation’s GDP in the last few years.
“On the part of NAIC, 80 per cent of farmers are engaging in small scale farming. And it is very important to take care of these farmers against risks that may arise from farming. The farmers are financially included because they access loans. Though federal government has done a lot through CBN in this regards, it is our role to support this process and make farmers happy and comfortable.”
To increase the number of agricultural insurance policyholders, she said, her corporation had, and is still embarking on sensitisation of farmers across the country on the need to protect their farmlands, and equipments through agric insurance products offered by NAIC.
Listing the barriers of insurance penetration which is also affecting adoption of agric insurance products, she said, culture, religious beliefs are challenges as the small hold farmers do believe everything is an act of God.
“The culture, the religious beliefs are challenges as the small hold farmers do believe everything is an act of God. But with increased senstitisation, trainings and awareness we are giving, things are improving . With the sensitisation of farmers which we do periodically, they are gradually appreciating the value of insurance. My advice for farmers is to embrace insurance to protect the future,” she posited.