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Extreme weather takes $1.8b toll annually on agriculture

By Victor Gbonegun   |   03 October 2016   |   1:50 am

Mohammed Kari

Mohammed Kari

Experts have advised firms to diversify into climate risk insurance, develop policies that focus more on the planet, people and profitability.These were the submissions made at a one-day workshop on “Climate Risk Insurance” organised by the Community Conservation and Development Initiatives (CCDI), a not for profit making organisation in Ikoyi, Lagos. It was gathered that about $1.8billion have been lost annually and globally in the last 10years to extreme weather conditions in the agriculture sector.
In his lead paper presentation, Advisor Financial System Development, German Society for International Cooperation Ltd, Thomas Wiechers said, the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events was increasing globally, affecting about 310 million people in the last four years.
“Geophysical events like earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, Meteorological events like tropical storms, extra tropical storm, convective storm, local storm, hydrological events like flood, mass movement and Climatic events like drought, Wildfire and extreme temperature keep increasing.”
He warned that with increasing climate risks and vulnerability in Nigeria agriculture sector if not addressed on time, could lead to a long-term reduction in crop yields of 20–30 percent, decline in productivity of livestock, with adverse consequences on livelihoods, increase in food imports, worsening prospects for food security, particularly in the north and the southwest and a long-term decline in Gross Domestic Product of up to 4.5 percent.”
Weiechers stated that with reports from Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) indicating that only two insurance company provide insurance for agriculture in Nigeria, which has aggravated agriculture risks such as drought and flooding, there was urgent need for a public-private partnership, creating awareness and the involvement of Civil Societies in agriculture insurance to mitigate the climate change in that sector.
He urged stakeholders to synergise in building more weather station infrastructure and data system, supports agro-meteorological research leading to product design, facilitate international risk pooling and access to reinsurance, provides smart subsidies for scale up phases and educate farmers about the value of insurance
Speaking on: ”Curbing Weather-related Risks in the Administration of Insurance Policy in Agriculture and Other Rainfall-Sensitive Sectors of the Economy”, the General Manager, Climate, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Joseph Alozie, informed participants that the agency has always been active in collecting, processing data, issuing weather forecasts and give early warning for the safety in land, air and marine transports, national food production, drought, desertification, Natural Disaster and Relief Management.       Earlier in his keynote address, the Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission, (NAICOM), Mohammed Kari stated that insurance plays a crucial role in climate sustainability and promotes stability in the global economy.

While pledging the commitment of the commission in educating Nigerians, particularly the vulnerable through awareness on the need top get insured, he expressed believe that the workshop would educate players in the industry and the society at large on the need to show interest in insurance and the risks associated with climate issues.
Director of Programmes, CCDI, Kofo Adeleke said the organization found out that only two insurance companies from Nigeria have sign-up to the US-Financial Initiative and the discovery of low commitment by Nigerian Insurance companies to Climate Risk Insurance, hence the need for a workshop to create awareness to boost penetration in that sector.

In his remarks, the Consul General, Federal Republic of Germany, Lagos, Ingo Herbert, whose government sponsored the programme, revealed that the country show interest on Climate issues in many countries of the world as part of its commitment made in Paris, to support projects and programmes worldwide with regards to the risks of climate change, to mitigate its effects and strengthen resilience against it and the need for partnership so that local people could benefit.

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