In their bid to complement the effort of government to boost the economy through agriculture, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in partnership with the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) has organised a one day program to create awareness for farmers in Taraba on agricultural insurance schemes.
The one day program with the topic titled, ‘Awareness creation and sensitization program on micro agricultural insurance schemes for existing SMEs’, took place in Jalingo, Thursday and had over 80 persons in attendance from various SMEs.
In his opening remark, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. David Ishaya, represented by Director of Industries, Dauda Bako stated that there was risk in agriculture hence the Federal government put the institutional framework to protect farmers from such risks through the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation NAIC .
In an empowering presentation, the resource person and Branch Manager of the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation, Usman Ajah, stated that dry season farming was less risky than rainy season farming and that mere assumptions was risky.
He therefore, said the best option was to reduce the risk or transfer it to an insurance company who would absorb it. According to Ajah, agriculture contributes 42 per cent of the GDP and 70 per cent of employment in the country.
In addition, small scale farmers contribute about 60 per cent of the active farm labour in Nigeria. Most of them were ignorant and that was why the program came to educate them to mitigate the risks involved.
He stated that the insurance policy was initiated because government could not do everything to farmers and that the agric insurance model in Nigeria was being copied by some African countries such as Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and South Africa. He then concluded by advising people to cultivate the habit of taking insurance policy.
Speaking on the partnership, the State Manager of SMEDAN, Bala Yusuf, stated that the issue of partnership was crucial in order to achieve the objective. ‘Agriculture is a business, and because it is a business, there are risks involved. Since the new government came, the focus is agric and mining.
Some days ago, there was a colloquium in Abuja and when the president was delivering his keynote address, he stressed that the centrepoint of this government is going to be agriculture. Since, its agriculture, SMEDAN says it is now necessary for us’, he stated.
One of the participants, Mallam Bakari stated that he learnt alot from the program on how to acquire an insurance policy especially now that there was a prediction of drought and flood in the state. Similar programs also held in 23 states of the federation.