Govt unveils agriculture insurance to minimise farmers’ risks

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The ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday unveiled livestock and crop insurance in the country with a call on Rwandans to embrace insurance to minimize risks.
Agriculture minister, Geraldine Mukeshimana unveiled the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme in Mukingo sector, Nyanza district in the Southern Province, expected to contribute to insurance penetration in the country.
It will cover risks due to unpredictable natural disasters, pests and diseases for livestock and crops.
“The agriculture insurance scheme is in line with government’s plan to improve people’s welfare by empowering Rwandans in various sectors to overcome poverty and spur country’s economic development,” said Mukeshimana at the launch.
The livestock insurance scheme will start in eight districts of Rwanda for dairy cattle of cross and exotic breeds.
These include Nyanza, Gicumbi, Musanze, Rwamagana, Gatsibo, Ruhango, Nyagatare and Burera.
On the other hand, crop insurance scheme will start with rice and maize crops in ten districts, including Gatsibo, Nyagatare, Bugesera, Gisagara, Kirehe, Gicumbi, Huye, Rulindo, Ngoma and Rwamagana in farming Season A next year.
According to the minister, farmers will pay 60 percent of the insurance cover as government has subsidized it up to 40 percent.
The development of the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme has been supported by development partners through Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR).
The insurance sector in the country and Africa at large has often been urged to be more innovative to raise penetration and profitability levels.
Insurance companies have been reluctant to come up with products for agriculture even when agriculture is the biggest employer.
SONARWA, PRIME and Radiant insurance companies have signed a memorandum of understanding with the ministry of agriculture to implement the scheme in the selected districts.
Fidele Gatete, a livestock farmer from Gatsibo district said there is need to manage risks in agriculture and agriculture insurance comes as a big relief due to unreliable weather changes.

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