Expert stresses need for increased agric insurance uptake

Matthew Otoijagha

There now seems to be an urgent need for increase in agriculture insurance uptake by players in the agricultural sector value-chain to cover risks that could lead to low farm yield from negative climate change affecting farmers’ productivity across the world, especially, in Africa.

The Group Managing Director, WAICA Reinsurance Corporation, Mr. Abiola Ekundayo, stated this at the WAICA Re International Agriculture Insurance Seminar in Harare, Zimbabwe recently.

In a statement, he noted that though Africa had about 17 per cent of the world’s pastures and arable land, the value of premiums for agricultural insurance in Africa represented less than 0.7 per cent of the world’s total.

This low figure, he said, was deplorable when one considered that about 60 per cent of the active population in Africa was working in the agricultural sector and that with the advent of climate change, the risks in agricultural activities were becoming even more frequent and severe.

For smallholder farmers, he said, agriculture insurance offsets risks associated with weather fluctuations, adding that, risk reduction could make it more likely that a farmer would qualify for credit and invest in the tools and resources.

He said such resources include seed, fertilizer, labour, among others, needed prior to harvest that would potentially increase crop yields.

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