New farmers’ uptake of agri-insurance ‘irregular’

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PLAYERS in the insurance sector have said the uptake of agriculture insurance nosedived soon after the fast-track land reform programme, as new farmers took up insurance on an irregular basis.

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

Old Mutual senior business development manager, Immaculate Musonza told journalists attending a ZimSelector insurance and mentorship programme last week that commercial farmers, who dominated the sector before the year 2000, took up agriculture insurance consisting of crop insurance, livestock insurance and assets such as farm buildings, equipment and machinery.

“There is low uptake of agriculture insurance,” she said.

“Commercial farmers used to take up a lot of agriculture insurance. Our A2 farmers only insure when they think they can lose something, which defeats the idea of having insurance.”

Musonza said another reason why insuarance had tumbled was because some of the current crop of farmers did not take as serious business.

The government undertook the fast-track reform programme in 2000, where land was taken from white farmers and distributed to blacks.

He said most insurers were pushing for the uptake of agricultural products through aggregators.

Insurance Council Zimbabwe (ICZ) technical administration officer, Nicholas Sayi acknowledged there was a sharp decline in agriculture insurance uptake, saying the council was pushing for command agriculture farmers to take up insurance cover.

“We are discussing with the Agriculture ministry’s department of livestock,” he said.

“We have explained to them the cover that we need to put in place … the administrative frameworks that we need to put in place.

“We will have a specific desk to deal with consumer education so that people know their rights as farmers,” he said