You remember the agency helping to implement the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, ABP?

The agency is called the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, NIRSAL, and through the ABP, it has increased the number of plates of local rice dishes on our tables.

And now, it is planning to procure insurance for these farmers.

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This comes as the federal government plans to increase insurance coverage for the agricultural sector from the current 500,000 farmers to 3.8 million farmers.

NIRSAL’s Managing Director, Aliyu Abdulhameed, said at a forum in Abuja on Monday that the move would help increase the level of output for the sector.

To achieve this, he said NIRSAL had commenced discussions with Royal Exchange Assurance and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, among others, for the development of a technology-driven hybrid index insurance product.

According to Abdulhameed, NIRSAL is also exploring innovative insurance products for livestock to help stem the tide of herdsmen and farmers’ clashes.

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He stated, “As indispensable as insurance is, it is the provider of mitigation of last resort. NIRSAL guarantees that smallholder farmers are supported in the areas of training and mentoring to ensure adherence to good agronomical practices.

The support ranges from input, quality control to harvesting.

“We have made significant investments in technology solutions and innovations to counter the risks occurring in agricultural projects that we support.

“For instance, we have piloted the use of Geographic Information Systems to carry out field verification so that only viable lands are utilised for agriculture.”

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