Leadway Assurance, Heifer, and Pula Compensate Farmers

Leadway Assurance Company Limited, in partnership with Heifer Project International and Pula Advisors, is pleased to announce a substantial claims payout totaling 110 million naira to ginger crop farmers in Kaduna State. These farmers, managed by the AFEX Commodity Exchange, suffered significant losses during the 2023 wet season.

The 2023 Wet Season Insurance Claims Payout Ceremony under the “Naija Unlock Signature Programme” which took place on Thursday, May 16, 2024, saw the leading insurer and its partners present the compensation payout to 1,138 ginger smallholder farmers.

The farmers’ losses were caused by a widespread outbreak of the Fusarium fungal pathogen (Ginger blight), which led to the drying up of leaves, the inhibited growth of rhizomes, and ultimately the decay of ginger crops. This disease affected nearly all ginger farmers in Nigeria in 2023, resulting in a dramatic decline in crop yields and substantial financial setbacks.

Speaking at the claims payout ceremony, Head of Regional Technical Services, Agriculture, Leadway Assurance, Mr Ayoola Fatona stated, “Agriculture is essential to the livelihoods of our communities, particularly smallholder farmers, and plays a key role in ensuring our nation’s food security. It is in line with this commitment and understanding that we partnered with Heifer International and Pula Advisors to swiftly respond to this urgent situation and mitigate the losses of over 1,138 farmers.”

Leadway Assurance, Heifer, and Pula Compensate Farmers
L-R: Commercial Manager, West Africa Anglophone, Pula Advisors, Chukwuma Kalu; Head, Regional Technical Services, Agriculture and Micro Scheme Specialist, Leadway Assurance, Ayoola Fatona; Managing Director, AFEX Fair Trade, Mr. Kamaldeen Raji, and Country Director, Heifers International Ltd, Dr Lekan Tobe, during the 2023 Wet Season Farmers Insurance Claims Pay-out Ceremony of 110 million naira to mitigate losses of 1,138 smallholder Ginger farmers, on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Abuja.

“This partnership has been actively involved in ensuring that climate-induced challenges in the agricultural sector are tackled in order to ensure that smallholder farmers’ confidence is bolstered, food production guaranteed, and food systems resilience is mainstreamed in our attempt to support the government’s ongoing drive to address food security challenges. We are able to achieve this by ensuring that farmers’ claims are verified, catalogued and processed expeditiously anytime they suffer from harvest losses.” he added.

Also speaking, Country Director, Heifer Project International, Dr Lekan Tobe stated that “It is such a momentous gathering today as we, in conjunction with our commendable partners, Leadway Assurance, PULA Advisors and AFEX, further show our renewed commitment to smallholder farmers and ensure we proritise the continuity of their businesses despite prevailing climate challenges. Insurance is instrumental to renewing hope and mitigating losses; through this partnership and claims paid, we are confident that these farmers are properly positioned to thrive and further add their quota to the agricultural sector in Nigeria”

Commenting on the strategic partnership, Country Manager, West Africa Anglophone, Pula Advisors, Chukwuma Kalu said “It is critical to state that this partnership is not a one-off collaboration; we look forward and have made plans to extend this initiative to smallholder farmers across Nigeria. At PULA, we are setting a roadmap with a focus on sensitisation and education for farmers to be aware and take advantage of these interventions towards bolstering food security in our country”

Heifer Project International, a global non-profit, pre-financed the insurance premiums for the farmers at the beginning of the season providing a repayment option post-harvest. Pula Advisors, a leader in agricultural insurance innovation, streamlined the claims assessment and payout process, ensuring transparency and efficiency in delivering financial support to the farmers. AFEX Commodity Exchange, being one of foremost commodity aggregators in Nigeria with an expansive network of smallholder farmers, continues to blaze the trail by supporting small-holder farming and increasing food productivity through its innovative value-chain financing model which leverages on insurance.

In essence, this event bears testimony to the impact of mitigating against agricultural risks that are currently experienced by the Nigerian smallholder farmers; wherein losses due to pests, diseases, climate change, and other critical factors have necessitated the inclusion of insurance in their farming programme to protect their investments against crop or harvest failures emanating from climate change perils.

This partnership follows similar successful initiatives, such as the introduction of Area Yield Index Insurance (AYII) in 2022 to support Nigerian rice farmers. This program aimed to counteract climate-induced challenges and restore confidence among smallholder farmers in the agricultural sector.

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