Aliyu Abdulhameed, Managing Director of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), said the organisation was exploring insurance for livestock to reduce clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
Abdulhameed disclosed this at the opening of a four-day training workshop on risk modeling of index-based agricultural insurance on Monday in Abuja.
The workshop was organised by National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) with the support of the World Bank.
He said that NIRSAL worked with a consortium of underwriters to develop the Area Yield Index Insurance (AYII) product in 2017.
“Today, we are happy to report that we have an index-based yield insurance product that covers risks from disease, weather, natural disasters and several other external factors.
“Since the launch of the insurance product six months ago, over 25,000 smallholder farmers have subscribed to it,’’ he said.
He added that the organisation was also nurturing local and international partnerships to help expand the scope of agricultural insurance for small holder farmers in Nigeria.
“A key aspect of our plan is to increase insurance coverage from the current level of about 0.5 million to 3.8 million agricultural primary producers.
“We recently signed partnership agreements with a leading Moroccan agricultural insurance as well as a reinsurance company to provide technical support in expanding the range of agricultural insurance products in Nigeria,’’ Abdulhameed explained.
Mr Mohammed Kari, Commissioner for Insurance, NAICOM, said NAICOM had embraced Index Based Agricultural Insurance (IBAI) as a strategic initiative for insurance penetration and a contributor to the development of agriculture.
Kari said that the AYII was based on the “Anchor Borrowers Programme” of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) worth over one billion dollars.
Commenting on the importance of the programme, he said it would spur rural financial markets and support economic development.
“Natural disasters can depress economic output, damage infrastructure and increase fiscal demands on government and donor organizations.
“Using weather insurance to manage the risk of catastrophic weather events will stimulate economic development by improving stability and opportunities for growth in the agricultural and financial sectors,” Kari said.
He added that IBAI could have immediate impact on reducing vulnerability to weather risk by protecting the productive capacity of rural enterprises and farm households.