The Namibia Special Risks Insurance Association (Nasria), through its Namibia Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS), will soon roll-out its agriculture climate change risk insurance solution to the agriculture sector.
The risk insurance solution is a tool aimed at proactively preserving farmers’ wealth, promoting recovery and rebuilding towards a sustainable agricultural production.
This is a two year project, and will expand as time goes.
The project is expected to be piloted in October, with an N$30 million budget, starting off in five regions, namely Otjozondjupa, Omaheke, Omusati, Ohangwena and Hardap.
Nasria’s Manager for Agriculture Insurance, John Alugodhi said that its weather indexed based insurance will provide protection particularly to the vulnerable segment of the population, the communal farmers, who are less resilient and always the most and hardest hit by these extreme weather events.
This comes at a time when the country’s agriculture sector highly relies on rain-fed production. The sector supports over 70% of the population who directly depends on livestock and crops for their daily livelihood.
However, the sector faces challenges of ever-changing climate patterns in the forms of extreme temperatures, frequent droughts, and floods.
“Hence, the need to adopt a risk transformative tool in the form of agriculture insurance to mitigate climate change risks, enhance resilience, sustainable agriculture production and food security in the country,” Nasria said.
Reagan Musisanyani, a cattle farmer based in Zambezi region, has welcomed the move as a game changer, although he will not be covered in the initial roll out. “It’s a very good thing, because during drought especially in 2019, farmers have lost stock and struggle to restock, some even to date”, he said.
Musisanyani who hopes this initiative will soon cover all other regions, advised for premiums to be reasonable since the target market are the most vulnerable communal farmers.
Jonah Musheko, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Agriculture, said it is important that farmers make sure their livestock are covered.
“It should start from the perspective and understanding of how we see livestock most especially in farming, in terms of seeing them as property. Because if you see your livestock as property, then that is the opportunity that one should take to have insurance cover for them,” he said.
Musheko further mentioned that agriculture insurance is something that is not yet well established in Namibia.
“But judging from the past natural events, such as drought, has given a clear indication that there has been a gap or an opportunity for business people and agriculture to introduce an insurance study focusing on farming,” he stressed.
Musheko is of the view that this kind of insurance should cater for all of the agriculture sector and not only the livestock.
“There is really an opportunity in the sector that needs to be explored and we should not always expect the government to come up with such solutions. This is an opportunity for people to venture in,” he pointed out.
He said farmers irrespective of scale, are encouraged to invest in Agriculture Insurance as part of risk mitigation strategies to safeguard their farming enterprises.