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Bird Flu: NIA urges farmers to take insurance cover



By Bukola Adetoye
Lagos, Feb. 21, 2019 The Chairman, Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Mr Tope Smart, has advised farmers, especially livestock farmers, to take appropriate insurance policies to mitigate unexpected losses in their businesses.

Smart gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday, against the backdrop of an outbreak of bird flu, also known as avian influenza in Plateau.

The Chief Veterinary Officer of the state, Dr Spak Shaset on Feb. 19, said that at least 3,900 birds were killed by the disease.

According to Shaset, the outbreak affected two farms in Jos North and Jos South Local Government Areas of the state

The NIA boss said that farmers running their produce without appropriate insurance cover should go and take appropriate agricultural or livestock insurance policies immediately.

He noted that such outbreaks were known to have pushed farmers into huge debts and out of businesses, especially, farmers that refused to insure their farm lands and produce.

“However, with insurance, such losses are curable with or without government intervention and help from friends and family.

“Farmers that rear birds or plant crops would not be pushed out of business with appropriate insurance.

“What insurance does is absorbing unexpected shocks and fixes you and your business back and appropriately.

“Insurance buys the unexpected future loss and pays back on occurrence of such a loss. ’’ Smart said.

He said that underwriters had developed friendly agricultural policies that farmers could take to cushion future losses.

Smart urged farmers that had yet to insure their farmlands and livestock to quickly do so.
Edited by Adeleye Ajayi