THE uptake of agricultural insurance by Zimbabweans farmers is low, as most of the newly resettled farmers are from a subsistence farming background that does not have a culture of using insurance as a risk management tool.
In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent, Zimbabwe Farming Union (ZFU) executive director Paul Zakariya encouraged farmers to take up agricultural insurance as a measure to minimise risks caused by climate change and theft.
“The importance of insurance cannot be over emphasised. The concept still needs to be promoted among the farming communities. This is what sustained most of the former commercial farmers in the past, ” Zakariya said.
“Out of a total membership of 350 000 active members, 11% are insured. Some 37 000 of these are small-holder farmers who are accessing a very modest insurance package under the ZFU/EcoFarmer Combo.”
Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ) chief executive Oliver Guni said they were dedicated to promoting agricultural insurance products to the farmers.
“Our member companies structure and promote their products individually, however, the Insurance and Pensions Commission and ICZ do carry out general supporting campaigns encouraging consumption of insurance products and risk management services offered by the short term insurers,” Guni said.
“Government is pursuing programmes on financial inclusion for the financially marginalised which includes structuring insurance products to suit their needs. In the long term, this should result in improved uptake of insurance and risk management services.”
The uptake of agricultural insurance took a nosedive after the land grabs in 2000 when white commercial farmers were forced off their farms.