The National Agricultural Show, which was held late June in Mulindi, carried the theme ‘Adopt climate resilient technologies to improve farmers’ livelihoods.’ The theme highlighted the increasing risk posed by climate change, which can severely affect harvests, or even wipe them out entirely.
It was therefore no coincidence that among the exhibitors at the expo were several insurance companies. As a failed harvest might completely ruin a farmer, some insurers have started to offer packages to cover such losses.
One of those is UAP Insurance Rwanda, which has a comprehensive agriculture insurance which caters for both crop and livestock coverage. According to Robinah Batamuriza, who is in charge of agriculture insurance at UAP, such coverage might still be new but there is clearly a demand for it.
“Clients have responded very well and they are very happy with what we have to offer,” she says. “With the best agricultural season starting in September, we aim to bring 20 cooperatives on board, especially in maize production since it’s the main season we are entering.”
In its Multi- Peril Crop Insurance, UAP provides cover for all commercial field crops including wheat, maize, barley, rice, tea, coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, as well as horticultural, floricultural and tree crops.
“The way the product is designed is that we work closely with farmers,” Batamuriza says. “They trust us because we don’t serve them from our office but we go on the ground to see what is there.”
That field visit is also required for UAP’s specialists to determine the premium, which depends on the crop type, the kinds of peril to be insured and the value of the expected harvest.
UAP’s crop insurance covers any calamity that could damage or destroy the plants before harvest – be it losses caused by hailstorm, fire, drought, excessive rainfall, frost damage, flooding, lightning as well as crop diseases that are not due to negligence or caused by the farmers themselves. In addition, the company also offers coverage for farm assets and equipment including harvested crops, green houses and irrigation facilities.
“Insurance cushions farmers against losses, it’s a fallback in the event of a bad harvest,” Batamuriza explains. “We will compensate whenever there is a loss on the ground.”
But that is not the only benefit of an insurance; it also helps farmers access loans from commercial banks, since a crop policy document is accepted by financial institutions as an alternative form of security.
As such, UAP’s crop insurance doesn’t only make farmers sleep well at night, it’s also an innovative financial tool that stimulates investment in agri-business.
Read this article and more in issue n° 76 of Hope Magazine.