ABOUT 17,864 farmers under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) have been insured in Western province.
The farmers based in Kaoma and Nkeyema have been insured under asset protection cover by Madison General Insurance and PULA Insurance company of Zambia.
This came to light when Insurance companies’ representatives addressed agriculture extension officers drawn from 19 camps in the two districts to sensitize them on the need for FISP farmers to be comprehensively insured.
Madison General Insurance Agriculture Underwriter, Mpundu Mutale and PULA Advisers Operations Lead, Violet Lweje engaged with the farmers.
Mr Mutale pointed out that the mandate of the insurance companies was to empower smallholder farmers in emerging markets by providing agricultural insurance that protects them against climate risks, weather shocks and pests or diseases.
He said the country is experiencing fluctuations in the weather patterns due to climate change and as such farmers should be sensitized on the importance of insurance adding that Extension Officers should also educate farmers on the need of crop diversification.
And Ms Lwenje said PULA has partnered with input companies, governments and loan providers to bundle insurance with the input farmers’ wants and needs like seed, fertilizer and credit.
Ms Lwenje said the insurance companies will endeavour to compensate small scale farmers under the FISP programme the full input package once affected by any catastrophe.
Meanwhile, National Union for Small Scale Farmers in Zambia (NUSFAZ) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ebony Lolozhi said their main interest is to make sure that small scale farmers in the country were protected from their various needs.
Mr Lolozhi further said the presence of NUSFAZ will soon be established in all the districts in Western province.
He said at the moment his union has over 70 thousand small scale farmers adding that between 2022/ 2026 the union will scale up the number of farmers to over three hundred thousand across the country.
Mr Lolozhi said the union will continue to lobby and advocate for quality agricultural programmes to enhance the standard of small scale farmers in the country.