Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Zimbabwe firm embarks on weather sensitive farming policies

AllAfrica.com via the Financial Gazette (Harare): An insurance firm has embarked on feasibility study to determine prospects for a new policy that would cushion the country's farmers from changing weather patterns.

In an interview, Max Uzande, a business development executive with Jupiter Insurance, said Zimbabwe's weather patterns had changed rapidly, with the country experiencing extreme conditions due to global warming which has brought climate change. "These shifts in (weather) patterns affect farming activities hence the need for premiums that cushion the agro-players and ensure that they are protected from major losses," said Uzande.

He indicated that his organisation had been tasked by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa to lead in investigations and "engineering of suitable packages". "Some of the farming insurance policies currently on offer now are of annual payments for both crops and livestock. The premiums charged range between five to six percent of insured item's total value," he said.

He said the risk posed by an unpredictable condition such as weather was high and the calculation of premiums based on probabilities remained cumbersome as no tangible scientific or meteorological explanations or findings were conclusive in determining new patterns.

Locator map of Zimbabwe by Vardion, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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