By Cynthia Alo
Royal Exchange General Insurance Company (REGIC) has expressed commitment to provide agric insurance solution to 40,000 farmers in 2020.
According to the company, climate change related risks such as flood, droughts, and others remain one of the dominant perils facing small-holder farmers in the country.
The company noted that 85 percent of the country’s farming population comprises of the vulnerable small-holder farmer groups.
Speaking at a media briefing organised by the company in Lagos, Managing Director of REGIC, Mr. Benjamin Agili, said it has become imperative for the company to use insurance to play a central role in promoting business and community resilience in the agricultural sector and rural finance ecosystem.
He also stated that the desire of the company is to avert the scourge of food shortages, food security issues, unemployment and other associated perils that could affect the wider economy, through the impact of not insuring agricultural production against climate change perils over the long term period.”
He said : ”Having gone through the past year and entertaining a great of learning, we are evermore committed and determined to deepening our foothold in the agribusiness space in 2020 as we target underwriting a minimum of 40,000 farmers within the current calendar year. A lot of energies would be devoted in bundling, distributing and selling of our packaged hybrid index insurance products in the market. “Important to us would be our ability to possibly layer an additional micro-health insurance cover for farmers as part of unique selling proposition this year and in collaboration with our sister HMO company, Royal Exchange Healthcare Insurance . We are excited at the opportunities this partnership would bring to the table.
”There would also be marketing communication agenda and several trainings on use of index based insurance to tackle climate change to bridge the knowledge gap and understanding amongst small-holder farmers, farmer cooperatives, aggregators and other key players.
“Actors would equally be trained on the adoption and use of our agritech tools as a business enabler to their businesses in managing their farm portfolio remotely and improving data collation for underwriting of their risks and remote monitoring of their portfolio.
He added the move is poised to broaden opportunities for the company in the livestock market.
Agili further explained that the introduction of several agric-insurance solution packages such as the Hybrid Index Insurance (HII) for small-holder farmers, enhanced Multi-Peril Crop Insurance cover (MPCI) embedded with Weather Index Insurance (WII)) for medium scale producers and crowd-funding agribusinesses are aimed at continuing to de-risk the face of farming business and to make farming a more business-friendly endeavour.
According to him, “For us, agricultural insurance plays a critical role in the de-risking of agricultural lending in the value-chain and serves as the foundation upon which finance and investments can be funnelled into to the sector with the right kinds of institutional collaborations to drive financial inclusion within our agrarian economy. It is in this light that the company is pursuing collaborations with government and other stakeholders to unlock the opportunities that abound in promoting agribusiness value-chain financial services to aid the nation’s quest in achieving food sustainability, security and improved output.”