Insurance firms and regulator present at a workshop for insurers who underwrite agriculture insurance in Nigeria, organized in Abuja by Pula Advisers Nigeria Limited firms have taken on the mandate to protect agro-commodities in order to avert food scarcity.
Stating that the percentage of smallholders who have access to agriculture insurance in Nigeria was less than five percent, insurers of agricultural commodities during the event lamented the poor insurance coverage for farmers who produce over 98 percent of food consumed across the country.
Leonard Okereafor, head, agric insurance, AIICO Insurance Plc., lamented poor access to insurance by smallholders. “It is important to note that about 98 percent of the food we eat are produced by smallholders in the crop value chain,” he revealed.
Similarly, Fatono Ayoola, head, agric and micro-insurance division, Leadway Assurance Company, noted that the paltry five percent of smallholders who have access to agriculture insurance is a challenge to food production.
“We are here today basically to see how we can use insurance to ensure the food security of the nation, help in agricultural production and equally secure the investments in agriculture,” he stated.
Speaking on the event, Sarfraz Shah, the director, insurance operation, Pula, said the workshop was part of measures to bring back agriculture insurance in Nigeria through a partnership with existing insurance companies and gaining active participation of smallholders.
“Insurance companies in Nigeria are used to the old ways of doing agriculture insurance. Pula has been designing and implementing innovative products around the world since 2015.
“We are not just here to help insurance firms to design these products, but we want to develop their capacities and the local market so as to create employment opportunities.” He said.
Condemning the level of ignorance in agriculture insurance among farmers, Leo Akah, the director, policy and regulation, National Insurance Commission, noted the need for government to put in more funding in the agriculture insurance sector so as to ensure its efficiency in Nigeria.