Jos — Grand Cereals Limited says it has concluded plans to introduce free insurance scheme to poultry farmers, who have up to 500 birds as a step to cut short the effect of bird flu.

Managing Director of the company, Mr. Layi Oyatoki, who disclosed this to newsmen in Jos, said the company initiated the insurance scheme to insure farms against the dreaded disease (bird flu) and cushion the effect of the disease whenever it occurs.

Oyatoki said that the insurance would encourage both old and new farmers to continue with the poultry business with the assurance that they have something to fall back on in the event of an outbreak.

“The insurance is absolutely free for farmers, who have up to 500 birds; the company will pay the premium on their behalf provided they are using the Grand Cereals’ feed (Vital feed) consistently,” he said.

Oyatoki said: “Our intention is to cover any farmer using Vital feed; we don’t have a ceiling for the number of farmers that we intend to cover. The Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) is covering the cost of raising a bird from pullet to lay at the cost of N1,450 per bird, and the company is paying the premium of four percent of the amount. When there is an incident, Grand Cereals would be the one to pursue the insurance company to pay the claim to the farmer.”

He added that it was easier for the company to pursue the claim on behalf of the farmers than them doing it themselves, adding that the claim settlement would be prompt.

On his part, Branch Manager of NAIC Jos, Mr David Zira, said some believe that insurance companies are out to earn premium without compensating the insured when an incident arises assuring that NAIC was different.

Zira said that NAIC had compensated all farmers that met the conditions, pointing out that they have the records for interested persons to peruse.

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