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  • Plans for agricultural insurance fund underway

    Oct 13th, 2017

    The Private Agricultural Sector Support (PASS) is spearheading creation of the fund to mitigate the huge risks that haunt peasants in the country. “We aspire to engage key stakeholders, the government in particular, to create the (agricultural insurance) fund to protect farmers against the risks they face,” PASS Managing Director Nicomed Bohay told reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday.He said certainty in agricultural production is inevitable for increased investments in the sector to support the country’s drive for the industrial-based economy.

    “Thriving agriculture sector is key to well performing industrial sector, but we cannot succeed in agriculture if our farmers continue gambling in their production,” he said, describing the envisaged fund as an effective tool to help farmers to protect and sustainably increase their incomes.Previously, there were government attempts to rescue farmers exposed to risks, but according to PASS Board of Trustee Chairman Professor Andrew Temu, “The government cannot afford compensation to farmers, every year.”He proposes for the government to subsidise part of the insurance premiums and support the financing mechanism of innovative insurance programmes that provide farmers with the best and most relevant protection.

    Professor Temu and Mr Bo hay were briefing reporters on a recent four-day tailor-made agricultural study tour of Israel by PASS Board of Trustees and senior management team. “The tour has exposed us to many thrilling technologies and innovations in agriculture sector but we think the insurance fund concept is most urgent whose implementation we can hardly delay,” said Mr Bohay.The Insurance Fund for Natural Risks in Agriculture, KANAT, has been operating in Israel since 1967, with the government and farmers marketing and organisations owning it equally. KANAT reportedly has over 17,000 policy holders and a wide range of insurance policies.

    Tanzania has recently embarked on sweeping measures to boost agricultural production through adoption of best practices, including use of modern seeds, fertilisers and pesticides but farmers remain exposed to natural disasters and weather damage that destroy crops and subject producers to severe income losses.“Modern farming demands farmers to manage their risks and the envisaged fund will offer growers a wide range of insurance products to manage their risks,” said Mr Bohay. During the tour, PASS team visited banks and financial institutions, agricultural insurance companies, manufacturers of equipment and training centres.

    “The aim was to discuss collaboration and exchange of knowledge and expertise with industrialists and extension service providers,” said Mr Bohay, expressing hopes that the deliberations will reinforce agriculture and agro-industrial sector in the country.