Farmers urged to Insure Crops

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Elita Chikwati
Farmers have been urged to insure their crops and livestock against natural disasters that may affect
the country during the rain season. This follows a forecast of normal to above normal rainfall, which
may be characterised by thunderstorms, hail and lightning. As the atmosphere transits from dry to
wet conditions, the thunderstorms that occur may be violent with lots of lightning, strong winds and
hailstorms.

These cause a lot of damage. Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union president Mr Wonder Chabikwa
said it has always been traditional for tobacco growers to insure their crop against hail. “Farmers
should always insure their crops even during a good season.

“This year we are likely to experience hailstorms and strong winds, which may affect crops. The crop
can be destroyed totally and a farmer will make huge losses. Tobacco is very expensive and a farmer
cannot afford to lose it. Most farmers do not insure livestock as they feel it is expensive. We urge
insurance companies to accept livestock as a form of payment of insurance so that farmers can afford
the facility,” he said.

Zimbabwe Farmers Union director Mr Paul Zakariya said crops and livestock insurance is the best way
to protect value against eventualities like hail and lightning. “Farmers, however, should work with
reputable insurance companies in this respect. Tobacco farmers over the years have suffered at the
hands of some companies that have failed to honour their obligations,” he said.

Tobacco Industry and Development Support Institute executive director Mr Jeffrey Takawira said
farmers’ organisations should teach farmers on the importance of insurance and how the system
works.

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