The Federal Government has inaugurated a road map to guide farmers in insuring their crops.

According to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, the road map will help ensure food security across the country with farmers insuring their crops and obtaining financial support in the occurrence of any disaster. Ogbeh, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Bukar Hassan, said this at the inauguration of the insurance document at the minister’s headquarters in Abuja.

He said, “As you are aware, 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population are engaged in agriculture, while agriculture contributes about 24 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Yet, our agriculture is rain-fed, 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.”

The minister added, “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 road map, 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.

Copyright PUNCH.

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