Lagos – A financial expert on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to implement a workable insurance scheme for farmers to boost food production and ultimately reduce inflation.
Mr Emmanuel Eze, Chief Executive Officer, Perfecter Investment Trust, a Lagos-based stockbroking firm, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the scheme was capable of reducing famers’ risk.
Eze said that majority of farmers were afraid to go into large scale farming for fear of the unknown, while most insurance firms shied away from insuring certain farm produce.
He restated that inflation could be reduced to a single digit in no distant time if the Federal Government invested more in agriculture, packaging and manufacturing sectors.
The financial expert spoke against the backdrop of the country’s rising inflation rate from 13.7 per cent in April to 15.6 per cent in May.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that the rise was due to the overall rise in general price level across all sectors.
It said that in May, the highest increases were seen in road transport, kerosene, petrol and lubricants and vehicle spare parts due to the hiked pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N87 to N145 per litre.
Eze said that increased domestic output was sacrosanct to create a surplus and drive down prices.
He noted that the government needed to encourage more Nigerians to build new refineries to reduce the demand pressure on foreign exchange for importation of refined petroleum products.
He added that all the tiers of government must invest more in the agricultural sector to ensure abundance of agricultural commodities to reduce their scarcity.
“Government should ensure that farmers’ risk are reduced by having in place an insurance scheme that will reduce some of their fears and encourage them to produce more,’’ he said.
“Backward integration must be accepted by all to reduce the demand for foreign exchange which is one of the causes of the rising inflation rate.
“Government needs to collaborate with the private sector to build processing plants and packaging units to boost local consumption and for export.
Infrastructure such as good transportation network is crucial to reduce the cost of commodities.
“Even storage facilities should be available to take care of the excess farm produce to reduce wastages and to control even distribution of commodities all year round,” he said. (NAN)