from DANAI MWARUMBWA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – A NEW partnership has been announced to create a market for agricultural insurance products for smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe from weather-related crop damage and other shocks.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) an Insurance and Pensions Commission (IPEC), Zimbabwe’s insurance regulator, formed the partnership.
IFC will assess the risks smallholder farmers face, how they are coping with those risks and will gauge the farmers’ appetite for agricultural insurance to protect their livelihoods.
IFC will also help IPEC develop a regulatory framework and enabling environment for agricultural insurance and determine the features of insurance products appropriate for Zimbabwe’s farmers.
“One of our key roles as the regulator is to develop the insurance sector in Zimbabwe,” said IPEC Commissioner, Grace Muradzikwa.
“This partnership has, therefore, come at an opportune time given that the country is prone to climate change-related risks, including extreme weather events such as drought, floods, heavy rainfall and heat waves.”
Agriculture is a significant contributor to Zimbabwe’s economy, employing almost two-thirds of the country’s working population and contributing about eight percent to GDP.
However, there are currently no insurance products in the country specifically designed to protect smallholder farmers.
“Agriculture is central to Zimbabwe’s economy, but it is a risky endeavor that is becoming riskier as weather patterns become less predictable,” said Adamou Labara, IFC’s Country Manager for Zimbabwe.
IFC has supported the growth of agriculture/climate insurance markets in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia.
– CAJ News