Agriculture insurance uptake  gains momentum

Ipec director of insurance and micro-insurance Sibongile Siwela says insurers are now keen to roll out agriculture oriented products to farmers.

 This comes at a time the country’s agriculture has been lagging behind in terms of getting  appropriate insurance coverage, leaving farmers vulnerable to the uncertainties and climate change induced  risks.

According to Siwela , a new agricultural index-based insurance is set to ignite interest   and secure the farm produces.

“There is a lot of interest in this area which involves the insurers as well.Insurers are keen to roll out this insurance.Farmer organisations are keen to try this type of insurance,” Siwela revealed at the Nssa-Ipec journalism training workshop.

“So we have seen a lot of enthusiasm on this area.We are currently working on a framework to guide the industry on this type of insurance.But in the absence of the framework  there are insurers that are doing something about this offering .This product has an uptake but not in the structure we would want.We look forward to growth of this type of insurance.”

According to the United Nation’s arm, World Food Programme (WFP), at least 70% of the population in the country depends on rain-fed agriculture with the majority of farmers having minimal productivity.

AT least 3,8 million rural individuals to be food insecure at the height of the 2022/23 lean season (period between planting and harvesting) in Zimbabwe according to the  2022 Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment (Zimvac) report has revealed

This figure represents approximately a 9,8% change from the five-year average, and a 29,8% increase from the 2021/22 consumption year.

This is mainly a result of a high shock exposure index, with many households reporting to have been exposed to several shocks that include drought, intra-seasonal dry spells, floods, water logging, crop and livestock diseases.

The intra-seasonal dry spell experienced in February to March of 2022, had devastating impacts on agricultural production, especially in the non-surplus producing areas of Zimbabwe, the report notes.

According to Insurance Council of Zimbabwe uptake of agriculture insurance is currently sitting at 6%.

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