A whopping $10 billion of imports is spent annually to meet Nigeria’s food and agricultural production shortfalls.
This was disclosed by the Deputy Managing Director of the African Reinsurance Corporation, Ken Aghoghovbia at the 3rd Africa Re Agriculture Insurance workshop in Lagos.
According to the Punch, the two-day event, organised under the International Finance Corporation Technical assistance provider mandate for the Nigeria Climate Insurance project, brought together key stakeholders from the Agriculture insurance industry in Nigeria. The primary objective of the workshop was to facilitate a collaborative platform for key industry players, including insurers, government agencies, farmers’ representatives, the insurance regulator, finance institutions, input dealers, and commercial farms.
In his opening remarks, Aghoghovbia noted that despite its contribution to the GDP, the agricultural sector has been hurt by several shocks such as flooding, desertification of crop and grazing land. He listed conflicts between herdsmen and local farmers, inadequate access to financing and low-use of modern technology as other challenges confronting growth in the sector.
These challenges, he said, have stifled the sector’s productivity, and created a huge gap between local food supply and demand leading to increased food imports. He said, “The International Trade Administration estimates that Nigeria relies on about $10 billion of imports to meet its food and agricultural production shortfalls.
“Agriculture Insurance, you would agree, holds great promise in turning around the fortunes of Nigeria’s agriculture sector.
“In the last five years, Agriculture insurance has received considerable attention from the insurance market players in Nigeria who have been attracted by the opportunities that stem from the need to commercialise and modernise Agriculture production and the quest of successive governments to diversify the economy. “With approximately 70 million hectares of agriculture land and diversity of Agriculture enterprises, Nigeria’s Agriculture Insurance market has the potential to generate a premium of over $600m.”