ASSESSMENT OF EFFECTS OF AGRICULTURAL INSURANCE ON FOOD PRODUCTIVITY IN NIGERIA
This research project assessed the effects of agricultural insurance on food productivity in Nigeria. The problem that prompted the research of this project is inability of farmers to effectively embrace Agricultural insurance primary data is used, and it were collected through the use of structured questionnaire. Table and like scaling were use in the analysis of data, while Z-test statistical model was used in testing the hypotheses. The result of evidenced that there are a lot of problems pacing the Nigerian Agriculture in their effort to enhance efficient food productivity the result also revealed that Agricultural insurance contributes effectively to efficient food productivity. The researcher therefore, conclude that Agricultural insurance enhance effective and efficient food productivity and recommended that Nigerian farmers should embrace the important of Agricultural insurance services in order to enhance efficient food productivity.
1.1 Background of the study
Agriculture has been provider of food for teeming population and the largest employer of labor force in the country (Amaza, 2000). The Nigerian agriculture as in most developing countries of the world is anchored mainly on subsistence farming methods. In this regards small scale farming operators producing about 80% of the total food production for the ever increasing population, operate on fragmented farm of between 0.5 – 2hectares (Salami, 1994). The federal office of statistics (2006) recorded that food production grew at a rate of 3.5% with an annual population growth rate of 2.83%. In a desperate bid to solve the country’s food and nutrition problems, various food related policies, programmes and projects were put in place. In spite of various programmes and projects, the food problems continued unabated and food importation had to step up. Aderinola et al (2007) gave the following reasons for the perpetual food deficits:
Ø Lack of dramatic breakthrough in agricultural research
Ø High risks and uncertainties often associated with agricultural production
Ø Unwillingness of the entrepreneurial class to devote organizational abilities to agricultural production
Ø Inefficient marketing and distributional system
Ø Low status accorded farmers in the society, and
Ø Rural-urban migration of the rural youth.
Furthermore, there is the institutional constraint especially the weak linkage between agricultural extension and research services that have widened communication gap between farmers and policy makers, and inadequate credit to agricultural sectors to finance modern farming technology (Soniran, 1991). Avery important problem faced by farmers and agricultural business enterprises is that it is characterized by considerable risk and uncertainties which stem from its predominant dependence on nature. This is because agriculture requires extensive direct and continuous contact with the forces of nature. These risks are unforeseen and they are beyond the control of the farmers. Farmers face considerable losses of investment and income due to the losses resulting from these risk and uncertainties. Because of this, Ajakaiye (2001) stated that small farmers in many developing countries of the world including Nigeria are trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty. This cycle is characterized by low productivity and low farm income which leave them with virtually no saving as capital required in the transformation of their production technology. Farming communities face a variety of risks. Although they have learned to live with these risks by employing various devices to prevent, avoid, mitigate or cope with them, there are still the problems of residual risks. These are the catastrophic types that human intervention can neither prevent nor mitigate. The damage they cause to lives and properties cannot be underestimated. In such situations, agricultural insurance may prove useful. Because of risks inherent in agricultural production which lead to farm income uncertainty and low or no profit, many farmers express fears on their ability to meet overhead costs, family needs, and also repay any debt. On the other hand, formal lending institutions also express apprehension on farmers’ ability to repay loans.
These lenders seek to reduce the possibility of poor loan recovery by reducing amount of loan to agriculture and in some cases seek collateral from the farmers before granting a loan. This has led governments all over the world to intervene with a range of risk management programmes for farmers thereby enhancing their credit worthiness before lending institutions (Hazell, 1992). Peasant farmers are naturally keen to avoid taking risks which might threaten their livelihood and is often reflected in their farming practices (Alli, 1980). Notionally, there is a trade-off between the levels of risk that farmers can withstand and the aggregate level of food production in the country (Ray, 1985). Recognition of this trade-off by policy makers has led to the introduction of programmes that attempt to address peasant farmers’ aversion to risk (Alli, 1980).
One such approach is to establish a scheme to offer insurance against agricultural risks. The introduction of agricultural insurance has therefore continued to generate a keen interest among academics and politicians because of the volume of investment involved (Olubiyo, 2009). Agricultural Insurance, in its widest sense may be defined as the stabilization of income, employment, price and supplies of agricultural products by means of regular and deliberate savings and accumulation of funds in small installments by many in favorable The introduction and formal lunching of the Nigeria agricultural insurance scheme by the president and commander in chief of the armed forces of Nigeria, president Ibrahim Babangida Badamosi on 15th December, 1987 was designated to benefit the small, medium and large scale farmer from the effect of natured hazards in consideration of a determined price called premium. Agriculture has been provider of food for teeming population and the largest employer of labor force in the country (Amaza, 2000). The Nigerian agriculture as in most developing countries of the world is anchored mainly on subsistence farming methods. In this regards small scale farming operators producing about 80% of the total food production for the ever increasing population, operate on fragmented farm of between 0.5 – 2hectares (Salami, 1994).
The federal office of statistics (2006) recorded that food production grew at a rate of 3.5% with an annual population growth rate of 2.83%. In a desperate bid to solve the country’s food and nutrition problems, various food related policies, programmes and projects were put in place. In spite of various programmes and projects, the food problems continued unabated and food importation had to step up. Aderinola et al (2007) gave the following reasons for the perpetual food deficits: Agricultural insurance is a special line of property insurance applied to agricultural firms. In recognition of the specialized nature of this type of insurance, insurance companies operating in the market either have dedicated agribusiness units or outsource the underwriting to agencies that specialize in it. There are several features of this type of insurance that validate it being treated as a special line of business. Difficulties in achieving adequate diversification because of the nature of the risk, asymmetries of information in underwriting, the geographical dispersion of agricultural production and the complexity of the biological processes of production, which requires skilled and expert underwriting justify it being considered a special business line (Iturrioz, 2009). More so, Nigeria agricultural insurance scheme is to ensure the payment of appropriate compensation sufficient to keep the farmer in business after insuring any loss on their insured form.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
In the result past, various governments in Nigeria have launched different agricultural policies in their relentless effort to enhancing agricultural productivity. They also have committed a large sum of zealous desire to achieving an increased agricultural production but have continually and repeatedly failed. One of the reasons for this failure is that most farmers in Nigeria have never discovered the need to insure their farms and other agricultural of the federal government in establishing the Nigeria agricultural insurance scheme (NAIS). Sourcing of fund has proved highly impossible because the lending institution also are supposed to fund agricultural development are quite doubtful of advancing loan to this sector because of the risks of uncertainty and insecurity.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Agricultural insurance unlike the conventional insurance is relatively new in Nigeria. consequently, there are many problems involved in collecting data and other materials for research in the field of insurance. this problem underscore the significance of this piece of work hence, the study will be helpful to students of insurance and other interested displine who may wish to carry out further study on this new field.
The research will assist both the federal government and the Nigeria agricultural insurance corporation which are directly as the device better ways of improving their performance. this will also enlighten e various marketing intermediaries on the need to participate more effectively in the operation of the scheme to ensure it success.
Furthermore, since the scheme serve as a kind of production to the insuring public (ie the insured farmers) thereby enhancing greater confidence to all farmers) (whether insured or not) on adopting a new and improved farming practice and in making greater economy’s perhaps aids to increase the state agricultural production.
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
1. To investigate the number of claims that was reported to NAIC yearly.
2. To investigate the amount paid by the farmers as premium.
3. To investigate the performance of the relevant financial institution and agricultural lending institution on the insurance policy.
4. The research will also check the output achieved in farming activities under the agricultural insurance scheme.
5. To investigate the claim settlement methods and procedures of the agricultural insurance scheme.
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: Farmers in Nigeria does not subscribed to insurance policy.
H1: Farmers in Nigeria do subscribed to insurance policy
H02: Farmers who subscribe to insurance cover do not pay the required premium
H2: Farmers who subscribe to insurance cover do pay the required premium.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation is the only corporation underwriting all agricultural policies in Nigeria with a network of branches made the study unique. The research work carried out tend to be in dynamic setting as the scope of the work extend from the head office of the Nigeria agricultural insurance corporation in Abuja to the nearby zonal office here in Enugu. The research work covered agricultural crop, insurance product. The volume of work local require in a research of this nature could not be carried out without some limitations. first, was inadequacy of finance, second was the death of book, journal magazine on agricultural insurance as secondary source of data collection thirdly, the illiteracy level of respondent farmers constituted serious handling and mount loss of vital information relevant to this piece of work.
1.7 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
The following terms used in this study should taken to mean the following:
Agricultural Insurance: Is insurance cover giver to farmers or stake holders in the agricultural sector.
Underwriting: It means undertaking by signing an insurance policy0 to pay damage when ever losses occur. This is done by the insurance company or society which, therefore, is called the underwriter.
Policy holder: The individual or corporate body who purchase the insurance cover from the insurance company.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.