ABUJA – It has been revealed that only one percent of Nigerian farmers have access to insurance cover in the country.
This was stated in a communiqué issued the end of a two day conference on climate based micro-insurance: providing protection for Nigerian farmers, said despite the fact that over 90% of Nigeria’s agriculture is dependent on rain-fed systems. According to the communiqué, “Considering the important role insurance plays in stimulating banks to extend credit facilities to the agricultural sector and the role that perception of risk among financial institutions plays in limiting the flow of finance to the sector raises concern because less than 1% of Nigerian farmers have access to insurance cover.
Acknowledging that climate change is today the greatest threat to Nigerian farmers and being aware that over 90% of Nigeria’s agriculture is dependent on rain-fed systems are therefore determined to provide a risk management mechanism to meet the challenges of climate change in the sector.”
Stakeholders at the two day meeting acknowledged the important role ole agriculture plays in the economy in terms of employment, income generation, poverty reduction and raw materials production, the targets of vision 2020 and the MDGs, may not be achieved if action is not taken now to protect Nigerian farmers through an adequate insurance arrangement.
They identified, inadequate meteorological infrastructure, un-supportive policy and regulatory frameworks, lack of capacity building within insurance industry and poor public awareness among Nigerian farmers constitute major bottlenecks to providing climate based risk management services to farmers.
Director General of Nigerian Metrological Agency, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, in his speech said, most times the weather often fail to meet the 100% targets of farmers in the country.
“Statistics shows that average annual losses from weather related events were in orders of 1 billion dollars in 1960, 35 billion dollars in 1990s, 35 billion in 2004 and almost doubled in 2005.
Between 1980 and 2005, nearly 7,500 disasters world wide took lives of over two million people and produced economic losses of over $1.2 trillion. And over 90% are due to weather and climate hazards and translates to about $80 billion per year with only a quarter insured.”
So it was agreed that it is imperative for all stakeholders to work together, the stakeholders that were represented at the meeting included Federal Ministry of Agriculture, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, The World Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria, the insurance industry and civil society groups