Stakeholders in the Agric sector have said Nigeria loses about 20 billion Naira yearly as a result of the failure of insurance companies to create packaged to cover small-scale farmers.
This was made known during the 2018nationalminsurance brokers’ conference and exhibition which was held in Lagos.
They noted inability of insurance companies to cover small-scale farmers is part of the reasons there is a stunted growth of livestock agriculture in Nigeria.
Speaking on the theme ‘insurance industry: survive, thrive ’ Dr. Kolade Adebayo, Executive Director of Zynosism Nigeria Limited who was a keynote speaker advised insurance companies to create products that will capture the needs of small-scale farmers.
He said: “The absence of insurance products for small farmers is costing the agricultural sector over N20 billion annually. We need insurance products that will aggregate small farmers cooperatively and provide cover for them. As such, insurance companies need to deal with poultry associations, rice farmers association and so on so that agricultural produce can be enhanced.
“Risk is an integral element of the farming industry, but the challenge we are having is that we don’t have the insurance partnership to cover most of our risks. The association of livestock farmers usually organize annual Agric forums where we come together to discuss issues. For years we have always invited stakeholders from other sectors to rob minds together on ways of moving Agric business forward. For over ten years that we have been having this forum, while we have had many representatives from other sectors, we only see one person from the whole of the insurance industry. This is not good for the insurance sector.”
Another speaker at the event, Mr. Biodun Oladapo, Chairman of SME Trade Group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry also attributed the stunted growth in livestock farming to lack of support by the insurance sector over the years.
He said, “We have seen little growth in livestock business in the country because we have not had adequate insurance support. Any farmer that has any insurance cover today got it because they wanted bank loans. Unfortunately, no bank in Nigeria will give any farmer loan without insurance cover.
“For the farmers that have insurance, when cows enter a rice farm and eat up the rice, the insurance companies will tell you that ‘cow eating rice’ was not covered. At the end of the day, no claim will be paid and the farmer is abandoned to his fate. Such incidents have contributed to impoverishing many farmers and the experience is causing apathy between us and insurers. So there is a need for the insurance sector to introduce products that will cover all our risks,” Oladapo concluded.