New scorecard research conducted by ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has revealed that smallholder women farmers have extremely low access to insurance services in the last five years.
This was against the backdrop of warnings by agricultural experts that Nigeria will be the highest hit by climate change if the nation does not offer urgent and lasting support to the agricultural sector, coupled with increasing flood episodes washing away farmland across the country.
The research was conducted to review farmers’ access to agricultural insurance services in the country.
The report, conducted between 2014 and 2018, also noted the low budgetary allocation and release to the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Commission.
The report said that of the N250m allocated to the commission in 2014, only N100m was released, while in 2015, N148m was budgeted but N16m was released.
The report said, “In 2016, N108m was budgeted, N71m was released, in 2017, N917m was budgeted but N454m was released while in 2018, of the N148m budgeted for Agriculture insurance, N16m was released to NAIC.”
On the distribution of the Government Agriculture Insurance Scheme to smallholder women farmers between 2014-2018, the report showed that of N1.1bn expended for agricultural insurance only N37.1m was accessed by smallholder women farmers representing 3.24 percent.
The ActionAid Program Officer on Agriculture, Mr. Azubike Nwokoye, while presenting the report in Abuja lamented that access to agricultural insurance services over the years has remained low especially for smallholder women farmers and that budget allocations and releases still remain very low also.