By Our Correspondent
Nasarawa State Government said it will partner with the National Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) to protect farmers in the state against natural disasters and other diseases.
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, made this known while hosting officials of NAIC, led by Bashir Babajo, Executive Director Operations, who were on a courtesy call at the Government House, on Thursday.
Engineer Sule said his administration strongly believe in supporting farmers abd insurance coverage is one way the Government can support all farmers in the state.
Specifically, the Governor sought to partner with NAIC, to provide protection for farmers under the outgrower schemes in firms operating commercial agriculture such as the Olams, Dangote Group and Azman Rice Farms.
Also, youths under the youth empowerment programme in agriculture, which has since commenced with 430 youths in Doma, with a view to enlarging the number to 2000, as well as extending similar exercise to Tide, in Akwanga Local Government Area.
And then the local farmers, who are mostly subsistence farmers. While reiterating the significance to providing some level of protection to all category of farmers in the state, Engineer Sule, recalled that only recently, an out grower lost 50000 hectares of rice to flood and because he was not ensured, he was left at the mercy of government to support him.
According to the Governor, young farmers under the youth empowerment programme in agriculture, that are just venturing into agriculture, may be discouraged if they experience any form of loss, hence the need to support them with some level of insurance.
He emphasized that local farmers who produce mostly for their consumption, need to be protected also against hunger in the event of natural disaster or effects of herdsmen.
Engineer Sule therefore directed the Commissioner of Agriculture and Water Resources, the ministry and NAIC, to work together, towards evolving a relationship aimed at protecting farmers in the state.
Earlier, in an opening remarks, Bashir Babajo, Executive Director, Operations of NAIC, said they were in the state to intimate the Governor about the activities of the corporation, as well as seek the collaboration of the state government, with a view to bringing lots of benefits to local farmers.
Babajo added that NAIC was established over three decades ago, to assist farmers in terms of lost due to natural disaster or diseases.
“We try to sensitize them, to encourage them to take insurance policy on agriculture so that in the event of loss, they will be taken care of by NAIC,” he said.