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  • Tanzania smallholder farmers encouraged to acquire insurance covers for themselves and their produce

    Aug 20th, 2018

    The government of Tanzania is currently urging smallholder farmers to acquire insurance covers for themselves as well as well as their crops. This is in addition to getting entrepreneurship skills in agribusiness. All these initiatives will positively contribute to the national development.

    For instance, farmers under the Agricultural and Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS) in Kagera Region are encouraged to register under “Ushirika Afya” health insurance. The Kagera Regional Manager of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), Mr Elias Odhiambo, revealed that the farmers will get the insurance after introduction of the new insurance package. This, he says, is designed for key commodity crops including coffee, tobacco, tea, cashew nut and cotton.

    Other crops are vanilla and sugarcane. According to media reports, the introduction of Ushirika Afya was in support of President Magufuli’s resolve to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by the year 2025.

    Generally, more than 100,000 farmers in the region depend on agriculture, livestock and fishing activities. However, most of these lack insurance. Nonetheless, the new system will enable the farmers to get insurance after selling their produce.

    Ushirika Afya costs US $33.66 (Tsh. 76,800) annually. The farmer is able to get treatment from all centers registered under the Community Health Fund after acquiring the cover. Other health insurance covers available include “Toto Afya Card” for students at different levels, ‘Vikoa’ for Entrepreneurs and other economic group members and individual health coverage.

    Meanwhile, coffee farmers in Kagera Region will benefit from services provided under the Warehouse Receipts System (WRS) for the 2018/19 season. However, the services will only be open for applicants with a certificate of insurance for all commodities to be stored in the warehouse for their full market value to cover losses by fire, theft, burglary, arson or any other cause. This is according to Section 22(1) of the Warehouse Receipts Act, 2005.

    Similarly, the Warehouse Operator shall make complete settlement to all depositors having commodities stored in any Warehouse, damaged or destroyed within ten days after settlement with the Insurance Company. The crops under WRS include Cashewnut, Cotton, Coffee, Maize, Paddy/ Rice, Sesame, Sunflower and Pigeon peas.