The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has assured rice farmers in the country of continuous intensified efforts to sustain inter-agency collaboration in responding to challenges occasioned by climate change.
The National Programme Coordinator, FGN/IFAD Value Chain Development Programme, VCDP, Dr Fatima K. Aliyu made the disclosure during the presentation of cheques for crop insurance claims for flood-affected rice farmers in the 2022 season in Bida, Bida Local Government Area of the state.
Dr Aliyu, represented by Alh. Bello Gidado, said the cheques presented to beneficiaries were a federal government response to their sufferings, adding that the challenges of climate change would continue to occur, hence the need for rice farmers to insure their farmlands.
According to him: “Because we are in the era of climate change, these problems may continue to occur and this emphasises the importance of insurance and the need for rice farmers to insure their lands. However, efforts are on to sustain and intensify inter-agency collaboration beneficial to farmers in the country.”
The Niger State programme coordinator of IFAD, Dr Matthew Ahmed, said the collaboration with the Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Cooperation, NAIC, was to ensure rice farmers affected by natural disasters recover from their losses in the 2022 cropping season in the state.
He explained that cheques worth N14m were distributed to the farmers who were victims of natural disasters in the state.
According to him: “Based on our collaboration when there are natural disasters such as flood, famine, fire disasters [and] pest, NAIC goes in and assesses the farmland within 48 hours and the company will start processing their claims. This is a giant stride for our farmers and the need to keep insuring their fields. The government decided to partner with the company to provide succour to help farmers recover quicker from their losses.”
Presenting the cheques to farmers on behalf of the state governor, Alh Abubakar Sani Bello, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Agriculture Development, Dr Idris Usman Gbogan, urged farmers to use their money judiciously.
He also urged farmers to key into agricultural insurance activities in line with global trends in production in the state by insuring their farms against natural disasters.
The beneficiaries, from across Edati, Katcha, Mokwa and Borgu local government areas of the state, thanked the state and federal government for providing the succour to ameliorate their plights caused by natural disasters.