By: Victor Emeruwa
Smallholder farmers have been advised to remodel their inputs and product pricing system to accommodate insurance. This will enable the farmers to build resilience in times of unforeseen shocks and natural disasters such as flooding.
Dr. Debisi Araba, Managing Director of Africa Green Revolution Forum, AGRF, offered this solution as one that can help mitigate the impact of flooding and other climate related disasters on agricultural production. Dr. Araba spoke to journalists on the second day of the ongoing virtual Summit of the AGRF hosted from Kigali.
Smallholder farmers have been plunged into loss due to flooding and heat- causing draught in parts of Africa. Just last month in Kebbi State Nigeria, flood swept off farm products and inputs estimated at one billion naira. Dr. Araba argues that such flood occurrences cannot be prevented but can only be prepared for by introducing some sort of insurance into product pricing.
Araba: “We need to begin to consider insurance into agricultural input as a form of building resilience against unforeseen shock. The way is to build in insurance into the pricing, the other thing is to connect farmers to market, so that their planting decisions are based on market reality,” he said.
He also advised Nigeria government to study the agriculture resilient document produced by the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2014.
The second day proceeding at the Kigali Summit focused on addressing the challenges and opportunities of the exponential growth of the African urban population which annual growth is about 5%. With 50% of Africa population living in urban cities, there presents concerns and challenges as well as opportunities for feeding the growing population. For the first time, the Summit had an inclusive participation of decision makers in the urban cities such as the Mayor, City Planners, and Traditional Systems etc.
As much as the challenge for feeding the fast growing urban population of Africa is a real threat to food security in the continent. Williams Asiko, Managing Director at the Rockefeller Foundation points at the opportunities for shared prosperity on the side of the smallholder farmers and those in the food system business. “It is an opportunity for all those involved in the entire value chain of agriculture production, and food systems, it is an opportunity for MSME, it is an opportunity to rethink food systems to ensure smooth expansion into urban cities” Asiko said noting that government of Africa must improve transport infrastructure among necessary resilient measure.
“COVID-19 experience has shown the lack of resilience and the fragility of most cities in Africa at the top of that is the lack of food supply chain. The lockdown affected transport system, Intra-Africa trade. COVID -19 exposed the fragility of our food system in Africa” said Asiko.