Stakeholders in both the agriculture and insurance sectors, including the African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), are actively working on plans to enhance food production in Nigeria, with the aim of eliminating the hefty $10 billion the country spends on food imports.
During the 3rd Africa Re Agriculture Insurance workshop held in Lagos, Mr. Ken Aghoghovbia, the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Africa Re, emphasized the vital role of the agriculture sector in achieving food security within a nation.
Aghoghovbia supported his claims with statistics, pointing out that in the second quarter of 2023, agriculture contributed around 21 percent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“The sector employs more than 36 percent of the country’s labor force, with over 70 percent of these workers being small-scale farmers.”
Despite this significant contribution to the GDP, Aghoghovbia noted that the agricultural sector has faced numerous challenges, including issues like flooding, desertification of crop and grazing lands, conflicts between herders and local farmers, limited access to financing, and insufficient utilization of modern technology.
He further asserted that agriculture insurance holds great promise in transforming the prospects of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.
“In the last five years, agricultural insurance has received considerable attention from insurance market players in Nigeria who have been attracted by the opportunities stemming from the need to commercialize and modernize agricultural production and the desire of successive governments to diversify the economy”, he added.