TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT is next year introducing the weather insurance index programme to help farmers insure their crops against climatic challenges under the farmer input support programme (FISP).
Weather Index Insurance covers losses associated with bad weather such as droughts, floods and other negative effects of climate change.
During a courtesy call on Chisamba district commissioner Martin Chowa on Monday, Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya said the programme will cover farmers who receive inputs under FISP against the risk of loss due to crop damage caused by extreme weather events.
Ms Siliya said from the K400 that farmers pay under FISP, K100 will be channelled to insurance.
“In 2017/18 farming season, Government will introduce the weather index to insure farmers against climatic change challenges. Most small-scale farmers in the country are vulnerable to a range of risks that are caused by weather challenges that are currently happening. Without insurance, farmers are at a loss,” she said.
The introduction of the weather index insurance cover will help small-scale farmers recover from their losses once they suffer loss due to crop damages.
Ms Siliya called on farmers to grow crops for both eating and selling so that they can have extra to use for household activities.
She also said there is need to transform farmers’ mind-set and attitude to increase their productivity both at household and national level and ultimately contribute to continued bumper harvests.
“Once farmers increase their production, it will translate into a rise in their income and a better life,” Ms Siliya said.
Earlier, Mr Chowa said Government targeted 615 co-operatives under FISP in the 2016/17 season.