Agric Insurance’ll Boost Financial Inclusion, NAIC CEO Says
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation, Mrs Folashade Joseph, has said that agricultural insurance will complement the efforts of the Federal Government on financial inclusion in the country.
Joseph, who spoke to journalists at the just concluded 46th African Insurance Organisation in Johannesburg, South Africa, noted that, while the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria was providing soft agricultural loans to farmers, the corporation was complementing this effort by insuring farmers, in a bid to incorporate them into the financial system.
Financial inclusion, she said, ensured that more people, especially, those in the informal sector of the economy, were brought into the financial system, to aid proper economic planning, enhanced savings culture and increased loanable funds in the banking sector, which contributed to the healthiness of the entire financial sector value-chain.
Stating that agriculture contributed more to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, she added that the corporation was specifically created to cater to the entire agricultural value-chain, of which farmers were major stakeholders.
She said, “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’s 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 to make farmers happy and comfortable.”
To increase the number of agricultural insurance policyholders, she said, the corporation had, and was still embarking on sensitisation of farmers across the country on the need to protect their farmlands, and equipment through agric insurance products offered by NAIC.
Listing the barriers to insurance penetration which was also affecting adoption of agric insurance products, she said, culture and religious beliefs were challenges as the small farmers did belief everything was an act of God.
“My advice to the farmers is to embrace insurance to protect the future,” she said.