Ken Aghoghovbia, Deputy Managing Director of the African Reinsurance Corporation, has said that the International Trade Administration estimates show that Nigeria relies on about $10bn of imports to meet its food and agricultural production shortfalls.
He revealed this while speaking at the recent Africa Reinsurance Corporation Agriculture Workshop held in Lagos.
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.
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 crops 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.
According to him, these challenges have stifled the sector’s productivity, and created a huge gap between local food supply and demand leading to increased food imports.
“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,” he said.
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.