The percentage of Nigerian smallholder farmers enjoying agricultural insurance currently stands less than a meager five percent, insurers of agricultural commodities have revealed.
According to the insurance brokers/regulators, this poses a lot of challenges to food security in the country as smallholder farmers are responsible for the production of over 98 percent of food consumed.
This was disclosed on Tuesday in Abuja at a workshop organised by Pula Advisers Nigeria Limited for insurers who underwrite agriculture insurance in Nigeria.
The insurers, however, noted that the latest mandate of most insurance companies was to now insure agro-commodities to avert food scarcity.
Speaking at the workshop, Head, Agric Insurance, AIICO Insurance Plc, Leonard Okereafor, said that poor access to insurance by smallholders was a threat to Nigeria’s food security.
“It is important to note that about 98 percent of the food we eat are produced by smallholders in the crop value chain,” he said.
When asked the percentage of smallholders that access agric insurance in Nigeria, Okereafor replied, “They are less than five percent.”
On his part, Director, Policy and Regulation, National Insurance Commission, Leo Akah, decried the level of ignorance in agriculture insurance among farmers.
He, however, noted that the government would need to put in more funding in the agriculture insurance sector to ensure its efficiency in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Director, Insurance Operation, Pula, Sarfraz Shah, revealed that the workshop was a measure put in place to rejig the agric insurance industry in Nigeria through concerted efforts.
“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 to create employment opportunities,” Shah said.