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Eastern, Northern Farmers miss out on Agriculture Insurance Scheme

Latest estimates indicate that about seventy thousand farmers have so far accessed the agriculture Insurance premium subsidy scheme. But the Central and Western Uganda have seemingly taken the lion’s share of the premium now at about 40% according to study by Economic Policy Research Centre EPRC.
18 Jul 2019 17:46
Extension worker in Kaseses District at farm. Studies are showing that drough affect coffee yeild Credit Wambi Michael

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Despite having worst-crop production and increase in climate-related disasters, farmers in Eastern and Northern Uganda have the lowest uptake for agricultural insurance cover.

The Uganda Agricultural Insurance Scheme (UAIS) a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with Uganda Insurers Association (UIA) has been operational since the 2016/2017 financial year.

Latest estimates indicate that about seventy thousand farmers have so far accessed the agriculture Insurance premium subsidy scheme.

But the Central and Western Uganda have seemingly taken the lion’s share of the premium at 40% respectively according to study by Economic Policy Research Centre EPRC.

The study shows that Northern Uganda has the lowest uptake of the premiums with a slightly above seven thousand farmers or 10.5% of the beneficiaries nationally.

Eastern Uganda according to the report had about two thousand farmers compared to close to 18000 farmers in the Central and over twenty-three thousand farmers in Western Uganda.

Florence Nakazi, a research analyst with the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) says the low number beneficiaries from Eastern and Northern Uganda was due to limited awareness in those regions and the country as a whole.

The study findings did not document who exactly was benefiting from those insurances covers. Florence Nakazi did not rule out the fact that small-holder farmers have not benefited.

Coffee farmers In Eastern, South Western Uganda

Other studies found that drought constrained the coffee yield leading to harvests below the recommended 600 kilograms per hectare.

But the EPRC report says the coffee index insurance cover by Union of Coffee Agribusiness and farm enterprise(NUCAFE) covered mainly farmers from Central and yet the crop is cultivated in other regions.  

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She says experience from Kenya has showed increased uptake of the insurance cover because of mass media awareness.

A number of insurance firms around the country are provide agricultural insurance cover to farmers under the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme.

The cover areas of a Multi-peril insurance targeting crops and livestock insurance cover, Drought Index insurance for crops only and Aquaculture insurance for fish farms fish fry hatcheries.

The Economic Policy Research Study also discovered other anomalies related to the implementation of the Agricultural Insurance Scheme. It says the insurance cover were only related to production risks yet farmers face more risks other than production.

The Multi-peril insurance according to the report covers multiple production risks while the index insurance is limited to losses incurred by farmers due to drought and excessive rain.

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The recommend linking up farmers to markets as one of the avenues of increase uptake of insurance products. John Makosya, the Consortium Officer with Uganda Insurance Association’s the Agro consortium told a recent Uganda Banker’s Association Annual Conference that efforts were being made to ensure that the scheme benefits smallholder farmers all over the country. 

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It was hoped that once well-implemented, farmers would have protected against the effects of agriculture risks by introducing insurance covers.