FG signs MoU to curb risks in transporting agricultural produce

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The Federal Government on Friday signed a tripartite agreement for insurance to tackle the risks of transporting agricultural produce across the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the MoU, which is on implementation of National Transit Insurance Scheme (NATIS), is between NAIC, Nigeria Association of Agricultural Produce Dealers (NAAPD) and Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON).

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Mrs Folashade Joseph, at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Abuja, said it was historic.

Joseph said the scheme, which was long overdue, would among other things, cater for huge losses suffered by farmers and agro dealers in the event of transitional risks like accidents.

According to her, agricultural products that move from one point or one state to another need to be insured because we have had different cases of accidents that had occurred in the past.

“What that does is that we lose the produce. I am sure you are aware that the President is very serious about the project Agriculture.

“We must produce what we will eat and eat what we produce and all hands must be on deck.

“It must be a collective effort that insurance is in place for sustainability of agriculture.

“You know insurance is getting popular as people are beginning to know its importance,” she said.

The managing director further said that we cannot afford our farmers to toil and at the end of the day, they lose their produce.

According to her, the only way to ensure sustainability is to allow insurance along the value chain, which is production, goods in transit must be insured. Storage is already being insured.”

“The place of sensitisation cannot be ruled out in the implementation of this scheme.

“You know it is a tripartite agreement and ALGON, which is represented in every nook and cranny of the country is involved.

“We also have offices across the country. So, in collaboration with NAAPD, ALGON and NAIC being the under writers, we will disseminate the information to peasant farmers.”

Mr Charles Orji, the Founder and Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of NAAPD, said the signing of the MoU was a dream come true for him.

According to him, the signing of the MoU will go a long way in helping farmers secure their goods in the event of any form of loss, particularly transitional accidents.

He said, “we as traders suffer a lot when moving our goods from one place to another.

“Most times in the event of accidents, truck owners get insurance but the owner of the goods suffer huge losses.”

Mr Kingsley Chikezie, Secretary-General of NAAPD, said the organisation decided to take the giant stride because of its commitment to food security in the country.

He said to ensure food security, insurance was very important, particularly in a country like Nigeria, where some roads were not passable leading to accidents.

Chikezie said, “insurance is very key to what we are doing, especially in Nigeria, where the roads are not too good and our people ply these roads on a daily basis.

“Our members, particularly those who transport perishable items like yam, water melon and tomatoes have suffered so much because their goods perish on a daily basis.

He assured farmers that the scheme would yield result, because beyond NAIC and ALGON, security agencies, international organisations and other critical stakeholders were part of it.

“Nigeria will ever be grateful to NAIC for embracing this project and to ALGON and everyone that has contributed to the success of today’s event.

The Director of Finance and Administration of ALGON, Mr Salawu Ozigi, said the association was committed to ensuring the impact of the scheme was felt in every nooks and crannies of the country.

Salawu, who represented the ALGON National President, said it was a laudable project, adding that it would not only safeguard goods but also the lives of the transporters.

He assured that ALGON will put necessary measures in place to ensure the success of the scheme.

“We have 774 local governments and ALGON is the umbrella body and every activity is domiciled within the purview of the local governments.

” The scheme, we believe, is one of the schemes that will help to mitigate the risks farmers face in moving agricultural products from one place to another.

“Other stakeholders are equally partnering with us to provide security where needed. (NAN)

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