Nigeria and Morocco have set up a steering committee to develop a sustainable crop insurance scheme for the country.
The committee comprises representatives of the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Bank of Agriculture (BOA), the Moroccan Agricultural Insurance Company, MAMDA and MAMDA RE.
In developing the insurance scheme, the committee is expected to use parametric products and leverage the Moroccan model for crops covering selected areas of between 5,000 and 10,000 hectares of land.
NAIC Managing Director Mrs. Folashade Joseph made this known at the inauguration of the committee in Abuja.
Mrs. Joseph said the committee was another step by the government to boost agriculture as an alternative revenue earner for the country.
With the challenges posed to agriculture by climate change, Mrs. Joseph said there was a need for farmers to accept climate-smart agriculture and embrace agricultural risk management.
She said NAIC would continue to collaborate with international partners to develop and deploy insurance products that would help in managing emerging risks.
The NAIC chief traced the new initiative to the visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco to Nigeria last December, during which he and President Muhammadu Buhari signed 15 bilateral agreements on trade, agriculture and oil and gas.
As a follow-up to that, she said NAIC last month visied MAMDA RE in Morocco to further activate the terms of the agreement and to understudy the Moroccan experience in the development and deployment of Area Yield Index Insurance products.
Mrs. Joseph said the BOA had been NAIC’s strongest partner for over 30 years and assured the bank of NAIC’s continued support in the provision of risk management services to agricultural investors and farmers financed by BOA.
He also assured BOA of prompt payment of claims to farmers on its insurance platform as well as the development of new insurance products and services to manage the peculiar risks of the agricultural sector.
BOA Managing Director, Alhaji Kabiru Mohammed, said though his bank and NAIC had enjoyed a good relationship over a long time, there were new developments that made it important for them to strengthen the partnership to facilitate the realisation of the objections of the Federal Government in repositioning agriculture.
Mohammed said emerging realities in the country had made it an imperative to change the mindset of farmers from the thinking that farming was no more than a traditional occupation.
He said there was big money in agriculture but that those engaged in it must do it properly and strategically if they want to make profit.
The BOA MD said there was need for his bank and NAIC to partner in collective marketing and information sharing.
He said the bank was already looking beyond government intervention and was discussing with international development partners and investors as a way of boosting agriculture in the country.
Mohammed said the inauguration of the committee was part of the effort towards internationalising the existing collaboration among the stakeholders in the sector.