Nigeria Incentive-based Risk sharing system for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) is working out plans to support 500,000 smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
Aliyu Abdulhameed, managing director, NIRSAL, disclosed this in Abuja at the agriculture workshop titled “Accelerating Growth of Agriculture Insurance in Nigeria,” stating that there was need to support and enhance the productivity of the smallholder farmer in the country.
The workshop, which had agriculture stakeholders’ in attendance was aimed at getting more farmers into the insurance scheme and enhance agribusiness to build up the confidence of financial institutions on farmers in giving them financial support.
He said, “There is need to enhance the productivity of the farmers by making adequate finance and support available to them, at NIRSAL, we have plans to support 500,000 smallholder farmers and develop 600,000 hectares of farmlands for them.”
He explained that the main objectives of NIRSAL was to ensure adequate finance and investment into the agricultural value chain, hence the collaboration with Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Cooperation (NAIC) to further develop new innovative products that will be comfortable for the farmers and send a good signal to the financial industries that the farmers cash flow are secured.
“The main purpose of NIRSAL is to get adequate finance and investment into the agricultural value chain, particularly at the small holder level, these are the people that constitute millions of producers in Nigeria. Over 90 percent of production in Nigeria is dominated by the small holder farmers,” he said.
Folashade Joseph, managing director, NAIC, explained that the corporation ensures proper education of farmers on the insurance scheme and secure the farmers on various platforms.
He further explained that there were plans to develop new innovative products such as revenue insurance, area yield index insurance and livestock index insurance to ensure a wider coverage of the agribusiness risk, adding that agriculture was gradually becoming the main attraction for the country thereby increasing the risks involved in the agribusiness in Nigeria.
“We are working on introducing more platforms such as Revenue insurance, weather index insurance and livestock index insurance as agriculture is gradually becoming our main attraction in the country leading to so many productions and risks that were unknown,” he said.
He further added that there were plans to address the herdsmen crisis, as it was a well-known challenge to agriculture in Nigeria.