More Zambian smallholder farmers use crop insurance

The uptake of insurance by Zambian smallholder farmers against threats to their crop and livestock is rising. Industry sources say more than 60 000 farmers took out policies during the 2016/’17 farming season.

State-owned ZSIC General Insurance confirmed insuring 30 000 farmers countrywide against fire and natural disasters, while other major insurers recorded similar gains in the agricultural sector.

“We have covered farmers producing wheat and barley, among other crops, against fire, frost and degradation under crop insurance,” said Mizinga Masinja, Director of Branch Operations. Other crops covered are tobacco, soya bean and maize. According to Masinja livestock like cattle, sheep, goats and poultry were also insured.

He attributed the increase to the development of tailor-made policies that covered the entire farming value chain.
“Farmers have unique challenges to do with climate, machinery and other risks, including theft of their crop or livestock. So, our policies are customised to the peculiar needs of our clients,” Masinja said.

Three other private-owned insurance firms also confirmed an increase in the number of farmers taking up insurance. Data provided by the three firms – shared in confidence with – tallied to nearly 30 000 polices.

The increased coverage of smallholder farmers comes after criticism of the insurance industry and financial sector for not coming up with packages that suited farmers.

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