AFC Insurance collaborates with Botswana firm

Ashton Mutyavaviri

AFC Insurance is collaborating with Phoenix Insurance Company of Botswana to map out ways of boosting agricultural production in both countrie, a development expected to boost smallholders’ resilience in the face of recurrent droughts.

Phoenix Insurance Company recently attended an agricultural insurance familiarisation programme in Harare to appreciate how Zimbabwe’s agriculture insurance model works.

AFC Insurance company managing director Mr Cuthbert Masukume said the Zimbabwean and Botswana governments were working to adopt an agriculture insurance model in which every farmer who gets inputs or loans will also be issued with an insurance policy.

“We have been running similar programmes with AFC Land Bank with every farmer getting loan also being provided with insurance,” said Mr Masukume.

The company is doing it for both smallholder and commercial farmers, he observed.

“All along, Government was giving inputs and loans to smallholder farmers but in the event of droughts, they were not protected. The aim of this programme it to make sure every farmer insures her activities and will therefore be safe in the event of a drought.”

The aim of the collaboration with the Botswana firm was to discuss and cross share ideas on how to develop the two countries’ agriculture sectors through insurance.

AFC Insurance is moving to introduce tailor-made agricultural insurance solutions for emerging and established farmers in order to meet their needs.

Mr Masukume said farming insurance was an important tool in climate risk management that can ensure smallholder farmers are able to plant again the following season even if crops fail in the first term.

“Since farming is a serious business, it is necessary for farmers to ensure their investments are secured with their food security guaranteed,” he said.

Over the years, farmers especially communal and small-scale have lost crop produce and livestock adverse weather because their projects would not have been insured.

Unpredictable weather patterns have devastated agricultural sectors across Africa, with drought and excess rain causing heavy losses to farmers. Smallholder farmers and rural communities have been the worst affected since they cannot manage these risks by themselves and often lack access to adequate financial instruments.

Farmers must know that insurance was not a waste of money but an investment for future wealth, and in the event that disaster strikes,  they would not lose entirely because they will be cushioned, explained Mr Masukume.

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