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Buganda premier decries low agricultural insurance uptake

FILE PHOTO: Banana plantation

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Buganda Kingdom Prime Minister, Charles Peter Mayiga has decried that fact that few Ugandans are insuring their crops and livestock against weather-related hazards.

Mayiga’s concern is that the government-subsidized weather index agricultural insurance premiums by 50 per cent but just a handful of farmers have taken interest in the scheme.He expressed concern that many Ugandans are not insuring their crops and livestock against climate change-related disasters.

Katikkiro Mayiga challenged the Insurance Regulatory Authority and the Insurance Institute to sensitize farmers about the Insurance scheme under the Agro-Consortium.

The government has since 2016 been providing five billion Shillings to ten insurance firms for onward distribution to farmers.

The scheme is aimed at saving farmers in case of drought or excessive rain that can lead to crop failure or damage. The scheme also covers farmers against pests and disease also the biggest threat to farming.

A report by the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) recently found that about seventy thousand farmers had insured their crops under agriculture insurance. The report said the number of those insured was to low compared to about 6.5 million people believed to directly involved in agriculture.

The Buganda Premier who was the chief guest at the Second John Sebaana Kizito memorial lecture said whoever is involved in the Agriculture Insurance scheme needs to market it for the benefit of farmers.

The Buganda Kingdom has been running a campaign aimed interesting more its subjects to cultivate coffee as an income-generating crop. The kingdom believes coffee as a crop can held in poverty alleviation.

The coffee crop is however a high water consumer and therefore the yields have on many occasions been affected by drought.

Meanwhile, the Katikkiro praised the later John Sebaana Kizito for pioneering an insurance firm that continues to operate even after he died.

He said unlike most businesses that collapse within the first five years of their founding, Statewide insurance still stands firm 38 years after John Sebaana Kizito and Kiwanuka started it.

Mayiga said the success of SWICO showed how he valued systems. He urged entrepreneurs to learn from John Sebaana Kizito and his partner Joseph DW Kiwanuka.

John Sebaana Kizito, the founder of Statewide Insurance died in 2017. Players in the Insurance Industry have since last year been holding a memorial lecture in recognition for his contribution to the sector as one of the indigenous founders.

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