Thursday, July 18, 2024

Thamane calls for increased uptake of Agricultural Insurance

Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) CEO, Thabo Thamane has emphasized the critical need for farmers to adopt agricultural insurance to mitigate risks posed by adverse weather events. The call comes as part of CEDA’s ongoing efforts to support the agribusiness sector through financial and advisory services.

Speaking at the Mookane Farmer’s Day Thamane made reference to the significant investments CEDA has made in agriculture, totaling over BWP 800 million. He acknowledged the challenges farmers face due to unpredictable weather and outlined the comprehensive insurance products offered by CEDA Insurance Brokers, designed to protect livestock and crops from unforeseen losses.

“Adverse weather events cause heavy losses to farmers, and they cannot manage these risks by themselves as the costs are too high,” Thamane said. He emphasized the importance of the Livestock and Crop insurance policies, which provide coverage for damages related to hail, windstorms, fire, and other perils. This protection, he said, is crucial not only for safeguarding farmers’ investments but also for enabling them to secure financing for expanding their operations.

In addition to insurance for livestock and crops, Thamane said CEDA also offers property insurance for farm infrastructure, including farmhouses, fences, storerooms, and equipment. This comprehensive coverage, Thamane said, extends to borehole pumps and solar panels, ensuring that all aspects of farm operations are protected. Furthermore, Thamane made reference to the provision of workman’s compensation, a regulatory requirement that ensures laborers are insured against workplace injuries.

He also touched on the relatively low uptake of CEDA’s financial products in the Mahalapye East constituency, despite extensive public education efforts. He encouraged local farmers and aspiring entrepreneurs to leverage CEDA’s funding opportunities, noting that only 267 projects worth P45.4 million have been funded in a constituency with over 55,000 people.

Meanwhile, the Honourable Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare, reiterated the government’s commitment to transforming Botswana’s agricultural sector. He outlined the Botswana Meat Commission’s (BMC) MERITING strategy, aimed at reviving the Commission’s operational performance and reducing reliance on government subventions. This strategy includes constructing a secondary value-addition plant in Lobatse to produce diverse beef products and reviving the BMC tannery for processing hides and skins.

Gare also promoted the benefits of artificial insemination, urging farmers to explore this method to enhance livestock quality and prevent the spread of diseases. He also spoke about the government’s investment in importing elite livestock breeds from the United States and Australia to improve genetic merit.

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