The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandly (MINAGRI) is planning to establish a guarantee fund for livestock insurance, a move which intends to minimize risks and losses that farmers encounter.
In a meeting with insurance companies, farmers, banks and other stakeholders, on Wednesday, MINAGRI said that effective this month government will cover insurance guarantee for 450,000 cattle which represent 30% of the country livestock. The total number of cattle in the country is 1,500,000.
This fund when initiated will start with country main livestock strongholds of Nyagatare, Gicumbi, Musanze, Gatsibo, Kayonza, Burera, Ruhango and Nyanza and will be extended to other districts later on.
According to Minagri officials, cattle valuation will determine how much an insurance company would pay a farmer if his cow dies without producing as initially expected.
“A cow will be given an electronic identification card that would be used for verification once it is dead, “said Dr Theogene Rutagwenda, Director General of Livestock at MINAGRI.
The annual insurance contribution was set to an average Rwf10, 000 per cow.
While the amount of money the government injected in this project was not disclosed, Dr Rutagwenda said the insurance fees per cow will be set upon agreement between the farmer and the insurer.
Gad Gahiya, a farmer in Nyabihu District told KT Press that insuring livestock will make farming more sustainable.
“It will enable me to present my cattle to banks as guarantee,” Gahigi said.
“There was no insurance company that could accept to take risk and insure our livestock.”
Ovia Tuhirwe Kamanzi, Sales Director for Radiant Insurance Company, hopes that this program will benefit both insurers and farmers.
“We heard that the government injected in a lot of money. Before there were a number of farmers asking if we could insure their cows, but we could not take the risk,” said Muhirwa.
“As the government gets involved, we hope to strike a better deal now.”
Insuring cows will be mainly done in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR), a private company.