By Ginika Okoye
The Nigeria Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two Moroccan firms to expand agricultural insurance coverage in the country.
The two firms are Mutuelle Agricole Marocaine d’Assurance (MAMDA) and MAMDA Reassurance (MAMDA-RE).
The partnership would also cover the expansion of agricultural insurance products in the country.
Signing the MoU in Abuja on Friday, the Managing Director of NIRSAL, Mr Aliyu Abdulhameed, said the partnership was a product of the bilateral agreement signed between President Muhammadu Buhari and King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016.
He noted that the MoU would cover `index based insurance products’ which included weather, pricing and yield to protect farmers’ investments in case of flood, fire or pestilence.
Abdulhameed said the move was to de-risk agriculture, facilitate flow of finance to the sector to diversify the economy, attain self-sufficiency in food production and entrench inclusive economic growth.
According to him, NIRSAL’s target is to move insurance coverage from about 0.5 million to 3.8 million agricultural primary producers to help reduce credit risks, increase lending and investments across the agriculture value chain.
Abdulhameed said the partnership would involve advanced technical training on surveying aggregated farmlands, large commercial and plantations farms and loss assessment methods.
Others are technical training on Geographic Information System (GIS), technology for agriculture and Remote Sensing application in Agricultural Crop Insurance.
“This signing means a lot to the agriculture sector of the country.
“As a risk management corporation for agriculture and agribusiness of the Central Bank of Nigeria, it is important for us to have capacity for risk analysis, management and mitigation.
“For us to be able to deliver on our mandate of enabling the flow of finance and investment into the agriculture value chain, the capacity to do risk analysis, management is a second nature to us.
“What you have seen today is symbolic, NISRAL leveraging the experience of MAMDA, the number one agriculture insurance company of Morocco, to learn the tools and skills of risk management in agriculture.’’
Mr Khalid Abdellaoui, the Deputy CEO of MAMDA and MAMDA-RE, commended the Federal Government and NISRAL for the MoU.
He said the companies were committed to assisting Nigeria to expand and move agriculture insurance forward in the country.
Also speaking, Mr Moha Ou Ali-Tagma, the Morocco Ambassador to Nigeria, said that agriculture was a very important sector in Morocco, contributing over 20 billion dollars annually to the economy.
“For our countries, it is important to develop the agriculture sector. This is a very important step in the long way of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
“It correspondents with the interest of the King Mohammed the VI and President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Nigeria can count on Morocco and Morocco can count on Nigeria,’’ Ali-Tagma said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MAMDA, through its subsidiary MAMDA-Re launched in 2014 enables African partners to have access to global reinsurance capacity for agricultural risk.