As a Rural Farmer in Africa, Would It Be Wise to Invest in Insurance
If you are a rural farmer in Africa, you may ponder on whether it is wise for you to invest in insurance for your farm.

An insight...
Agricultural insurance is one of the wisest steps you can take for farming in Africa today. With the aid of this insurance, you are able to eradicate challenges and risks associated with farming. Approximately 80 percent of people in Africa rely on farming as their primary source of income. Opting for insurance for your farm will not only eliminate potential risks, but will also reduce poverty among farmers.

How does insurance for farming help?
Agricultural insurance has the ability to increase the accessibility of seasonal loans to farmers. In the past, lenders have considered farming to be too risky for them. However, the Governments of African nations are now taking the onus of increasing the accessibility of farming loans by way of agricultural insurance. This will help farmers address financial challenges and proceed with their farming activities without stress.
Farming activities in Africa which is still a developing economy have been faced with diverse uncertainties of income like price fluctuation, unpredictable climate patterns and the reluctance of effort to help the poor come out of the poverty line. Besides the above, there is an absence of credit for the production of crops and improved technology for agriculture. Farmers do not have access to certified seeds or chemicals for the protection of their plants.

Agricultural insurance will help cover the loss of plants, livestock and fish. It will prevent the loss of forests due to uncertain weather patterns and other natural events that cannot be controlled by farmers. To add to the woes, farmers are not educated on the latest techniques and still resort to outdated methods of farming. This hampers output and in turn reduces the income of the farmer.

How climate and weather changes add to the poverty of farmers?
Uncertainty in weather patterns will also cause fluctuations in price and risks in production. The sad news is that farmers do not apply for insurance at all and they still follow the traditional practice of subsistence farming. Added to all the above is the impact of drought, storms and flood that are primarily the cause of reduced income in farmers.

Steps to accelerate farming insurance in Africa
In Africa, for instance in Tanzania, the BoT or The Bank of Tanzania and TIRA have joined hands for creating a special unit for establishing an indemnity cover for plants and crops in the agricultural sector. This will free farmers from the potent risks associated with changing climatic conditions due to weather. Experts are venturing out onto the field to create awareness and information on these developments in Africa.

Farmers too have to be made aware of the benefits of agricultural insurance. They should understand how it will not only protect their crops but also take them out of poverty. The Government of Africa is making efforts to spread this awareness so that more and more farmers start insuring their farm and aim for a better future!