Insurance firms urged to cover agric sector

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Delegates follow proceedings at the ZITF Business International Conference in Bulawayo yesterday.

BY Dickson Mangena
ZIMBABWE’S insurance companies should spread their services beyond urban areas to cover
rural agricultural communities and upcoming businesses who are also contributing to the growth of the economy, an official has said.

Speaking during the Zimbabwe international Trade Fair (ZITF) International Business
Conference last week, Tristar Insurance Company managing director, Mr David Nyabadza,
said business risks were aecting how the country is moving forward in developing its
economy.

“As a country we should think about risks going forward. The insurance companies in
Zimbabwe have embraced insurance models that target the rural folk who include the
farmers.

“We have seen that their contribution has the power to project growth upwards,” said Mr
Nyabadza.

He said the agricultural sector had more sophisticated risks that needed to be covered by the
insurance sector for the industry to be sustainable.

“With climate change the insurance sector needs to be engaged so that farmers are covered
from natural disasters that are unpredictable. In other countries a slight change in weather
patterns can trigger an insurance policy to start paying the farmer so that the farmer does
not lose his investments,” said Mr Nyabadza.

He also implored the Government to engage the insurance industry to mitigate risks in its
funding programmes for purposive of sustainability.

“Government also has to engage us so that when they disburse some of their funds we can
help in assessing the risk. Engaging insurance companies is important in that we are driven
by profit and as such we know how to mitigate risks,” Mr Nyabadza said.

He stressed the need for businesses and budding entrepreneurs to cover risks if they intend
to attract investment and create a sustainable industrialisation model.

“For Zimbabwe to sustain industry there is need for the country to avoid a start stop
mentality that is unsustainable. We need long term plans,” said Mr Nyabadza.

“Our industry in Zimbabwe is developed and is able to take care of those needs. We are a
well regulated financial industry and we are ready to play our part.”

However, some participants at the conference expressed concern that insurance companies
had a disclaimer that they do not cover country risk, saying that was one of the reasons that
the country was not getting Foreign Direct Investments. – The Chronicle

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