Zambia scales up weather insurance for smallholder farmers

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The Zambian government has enrolled 1 million smallholder farmers under its Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) on weather index insurance.

Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo said the development is in line with government’s efforts to mitigate the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate change.

Katambo said so far payouts amounting to K39 million will be paid to nearly 300 000 farmers that suffered crop losses arising from this year’s severe dry spells.

“Unlike in traditional indemnity insurance, farmers enrolled on this insurance effectively manage climate risks, enabling investment and growth in the agricultural sector. In this case, payouts ae explicitly based on measured loss on a weather-based indices,” he said.

Katambo said the cost of the insurance was redeemed from the K1 700 FISP support given to farmers who had paid their K400 obligation.

Also read: IFC grant to improve weather insurance for Zambian farmers

“We are encouraging the farmers to use part of that funding to insure their produce. In some districts, there was lack of enthusiasm to spend the funds on insurance. We are confident this would change as farmers realise the significance of the insurance,” he said.

The climate insurance strategy adopted by Zambia dovetails with the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The core of the strategy is the establishment of a climate insurance programme specialised in supporting developing nations’ insurance-related initiatives for sudden-and-slow-onset weather disasters.

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