Monday July 9 2018

Regulator seeks Shs7.5b to subsidise agric insurance


By Christine Kasemiire

Kampala. The Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) is seeking Shs7.5b to subsidise agricultural insurance.
Speaking during the 39th Chief Executive Officers’ meeting in Kampala at the weekend, Mr Ibrahim Kaddunabbi Lubega, the IRA chief executive officer, said they will engage the Ministry of Finance to increase the amount of money dedicated to subsidising agricultural insurance.

“By March, 2018, the Shs5b was almost exhausted so we are going to engage Ministry of Finance to increase to Shs7.5b before seeking a further increase to Shs10b,” he said, adding that in March, around 60,000 farmers had benefitted from the [subsidised] insurance scheme.
The scheme is a five-year government programme that seeks to reduce the cost incurred by farmers to insurance their produce.
Insurance companies have over the years shunned agricultural insurance given market uncertainties.

This forced government to establish an Insurance Scheme in 2016, which has reportedly grown to Shs4.5b in terms of premiums.
Actual utilisation was reported at Shs1.5b, according to the Agro Consortium, which brings together 10 insurers.
Speaking during the National Agriculture and Food Security Forum in Kampala recently, Ms Joan Nyangoma, of Agro Consortium, said over the past two years, the scheme has been able to reach about 50,000 farmers across the country.

“We have settled claims worth Shs2.1b as of 2017 and the exposure nationally is about Shs12b,” she said.
In his address, Mr Musa Lukwago from the Ministry of Finance, urged the private sector to get involved in the scheme to increase uptake.
“This is a pilot insurance scheme, which in our view needs to be complemented by the private sector, because demand from the farming communities is very broad,” he said.