A milestone achievement occurred today at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Abuja, with the launch of the Roadmap for Evidenced-Based Insurance Development for Nigerian farmers.
The roadmap, designed by the CGIAR on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), in partnership with the Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), aims to consolidate existing knowledge and information on the risk profiles of value chains, while creating a mechanism for expanding insurance products that ensures farmers increase their resilience to climate change challenges.
The culmination of the launch in Nigeria started in September 2014 between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), on the back of the United Nations Climate Summit held in the same year.
In his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Dr. Bukar Hassan, represented by the Director, Agricultural Land Resources and Climate Change, Egr. Sunday Edigbo, said farmers insuring their crops is the new paradigm in developed countries which will benefit Nigerian farmers.
“Climate change is a global phenomenon and a reality, its impacts has been devastating as floods or drought can wipe out the entire harvest of farmers. This was the case of our farmers in 2012 and recently in 2017.
“So to ensure food security and nutrition, it is paramount our farmers insure their their crops and obtain financial support in the event of the occurrence of any disaster,” he said.
The Regional Director for Africa, Centre for Agricultural Research (CIAT), Dr. Adebisi Araba, who has been part and parcel of the journey of the Roadmap since 2014, noted that the climate cannot be controlled but it can be mitigated.
“Effects of climate change is a huge challenge for farmers and for food security in Nigeria and in Africa. But then, climate can’t be controlled, but we can mitigate it by promoting agriculture risk management mechanisms through weather insurance. So this launch will aim to achieve that.”
Also speaking at the launch, the CCAFS Flagship 4 Leader: Climate Services and Safety Nets, and Senior Research Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), New York, USA, Dr. James Hansen, while presenting a working paper on the roadmap, emphasised on the importance of Nigeria having a robust insurance framework that helps farmers increase productivity and reduce risks.
“Through this launch, Nigeria will have a robust resilience framework that expands insurance products that are more inclusive to smallholder farmers ability to cope with the shocks and stresses of climate change.”
He therefore called on all stakeholders in the agricultural sector to show commitment in efforts aimed at tackling climate change challenges which can hamper any food security initiatives no matter how beneficial to the country.