NIGERIA – Nigerian ginger farmers in Kaduna state have received a financial boost of upto ₦110 million (USD 73,173) after suffering heavy losses due to a fungal disease outbreak.

The initiative is a collaborative effort between PULA Advisors, Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Heifer International, and AFEX to 1,138 affected farmers. It aims to support farmers who faced complete harvest losses during the 2023 wet season.

Under the “Naija Unlock Signature Program,” Heifer, in partnership with AFEX, extended insurance coverage to smallholder farmers cultivating various crops, including rice, maize, soybean, and ginger, across several Nigerian states.

Leadway Assurance, the leading insurer, facilitated the compensation process, ensuring timely payouts to the afflicted ginger farmers.

PULA’s Commercial Manager, Chukwuma Kalu, emphasized the importance of such insurance schemes in mitigating the adverse effects of pests, diseases, and climate change on agriculture.

“The partnership has been actively involved in ensuring that climate-induced challenges in the agricultural sector are tackled,” Kalu stated.

He highlighted that these efforts would bolster farmers’ confidence, guarantee food production, and enhance food system resilience.

In response to the devastating fungal outbreak, the Nigerian government has announced a substantial allocation of N1.6 billion (USD 1.2 million) to support ginger farmers and rejuvenate production. This financial aid targets farmers across Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, and the Federal Capital Territory.

Data from the AFEX Commodities Exchange revealed a drastic decline in ginger production, with the 2023 yield falling below 100,000 tons from over 800,000 tons the previous year.

Kaduna State, which contributes more than 80% of Nigeria’s ginger supply, experienced losses estimated at N12 billion (USD 8.7 million).

To combat the ongoing crisis, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Sabi Abdullahi, inaugurated a national committee on March 25.

This committee comprises researchers, extension workers, and farmers, aiming to address the fungal disease devastating ginger crops.

Minister Abdullahi underscored the economic impact of the disease, particularly in Kaduna, where losses exceeded N20 billion.

He expressed optimism about Nigeria’s ginger sector, noting its potential to contribute USD 6.29 billion to the economy by 2030, up from USD 4.16 billion in 2023.

The collaborative efforts of PULA Advisors, Leadway Assurance, Heifer International, AFEX, and the Nigerian government represent a significant step toward supporting ginger farmers and stabilizing the agricultural sector.

By providing financial compensation and forming a dedicated committee, these initiatives aim to restore ginger production and safeguard farmers against future challenges.

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