A new report by ActionAid Nigeria revealed that Agriculture Insurance Scheme disbursement to smallholder women farmers between 2014-2018 was N37.1 million.
According to ActionAid in the report, it represents about 3.24 per cent of the total disbursement of N1.1 billion in the period under review.
The ActionAid Program Officer on Agriculture Azubuike Nwokoye revealed this during while presenting the report “Assessment of Government Expenditure on Agriculture/Community Score care on Smallholder Women Farmers Access to Agricultural Insurance Services in Nigeria” on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, the report also observed that there was low budgetary allocation and release to the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Commission (NAIC).
The report further showed an extremely low access to insurance service by smallholder women farmers in the the five years in focis.
“In 2016, N108 million was budgeted, N71 million was released, in 2017, N917 million was budgeted but N454 million was released while in 2018, out of the N148 million budget for Agriculture insurance N16 million was released to NAIC.”
He expressed concern that access to agricultural insurance services over the years remained low especially for small time women farmers.
He also disclosed that state governments don’t pay their counterpart fund contribution for premium subsidy for agricultural insurance services.
Nwokoye said out “Many states are yet to integrate extention services to agricultural insurance services, meaning that the relationships between extention agents, Ministry of Agriculture and NAiC is not there, because ordinarily extention agents must be able to provide information on insurance services to smallholder farmers to support them assess services but it is not so,” he further said.
He said there was need for called NAiC to increase insurance coverage such that it would be able to provide compensation for farmers affected by cattle rustling. This according to him would assist in reducing farmers herders crisis in the country.
He called on the government to increase budgetary allocation to NAiC to enable it effectively carry out it’s mandate of providing agricultural insurance services to farmers.