Tanzania: Govt Told to Speed Up Plan for Agricultural Insurance
While various governments across Africa are supporting crop insurance to cushion farmers in times of distress, the situation has been different in Tanzania where the majority of farmers remain exposed to losses resulting from natural disasters.
Apparently, the government has paid very little attention to crop insurance, despite chipping in to boost yields through inputs provision and subsidies. The current state of affairs is worrying agriculture stakeholders and experts, who have stepped up their efforts to ensure that cover is rolled out in the near future.
There are growing fears that if a plan by the government to address the concerns take time to materialise, farmers will harvest thorns as climate change takes its toll.
Already, growing signs of trouble are evident in unreliable rainfall patterns, droughts, floods, unending crop diseases and pests. Smallholder farmers are the worst-hit.
Prof Justine Mtaresi, a lecturer and agricultural consultant at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM)'s College of Agricultural Sciences and Fisheries Technology, says quick intervention by the government is needed to cushion smallholder farmers against adverse weather effects.
"Most smallholder farmers will find it difficult to bounce back after the shocks," he said in a telephone interview with BusinessWeek.
Government said recently plans were on the cards for the introduction of an agriculture insurance plan to cushion farmers against various perils such as adverse weather conditions.
It is also a way to encourage more people to venture into the sector, said the director of policy and planning in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Obey Assery. Read more on All Africa.
Source: All Africa