Enhancing Zimbabwe's Agricultural Resilience Through Insurance

Sharon Onyango, Project Lead (IFC) during her presentation about Climate Insurance and the IFC - IPEC collaboration in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector faces numerous climate-related challenges that significantly impact productivity, including droughts, floods, and pest infestations. With 70% of the population relying on agriculture for employment, this sector is crucial to the nation’s economic stability. Addressing these climate challenges is essential for safeguarding livelihoods and boosting agricultural resilience. One promising solution is agricultural insurance.


IFC's Initiative on Agricultural Insurance
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), in collaboration with Zimbabwe's Insurance & Pensions Commission (IPEC), undertook a comprehensive diagnostic to explore the potential of agricultural insurance. This initiative involved engaging key market stakeholders and surveying over 1,600 smallholder farmers across various value chains, including cotton, groundnuts, maize, soybean, and sunflower.

Key Findings from the Study

  • High Interest in Insurance: Approximately 90% of surveyed smallholder farmers expressed interest in agricultural index insurance.
  • Flexible Payment Options: To encourage uptake, it's crucial to utilize distribution channels and payment methods that minimize the need for farmers to pay premiums upfront.
  • Support from Financial Institutions: Banks, microfinance institutions (MFIs), agribusinesses, NGOs, and fintech companies are willing to integrate agricultural insurance into their services, which could enhance financial inclusion.
  • Role of Government Extension Officers: These officers are vital in building trust and raising awareness about insurance among farmers.

Workshop and Future Strategy
The study's findings were presented at a workshop in Harare, aiming to inform Zimbabwe's agricultural insurance strategy. This strategy will focus on developing tailored insurance products that address the specific needs of smallholder farmers.

Leveraging Climate-Smart Technologies
Zimbabwe has significant potential to adopt emerging climate-smart agriculture technologies. Combining these technologies with well-designed insurance products can foster a climate-resilient agricultural sector, creating new business opportunities and mitigating the impacts of climate-related challenges.

We extend our gratitude to our funding partner, Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, for their support in this crucial initiative. Their contribution has been instrumental in driving efforts to protect and empower Zimbabwe's farmers through innovative insurance solutions.

Stay tuned for more updates on how agricultural insurance is shaping the future of farming in Zimbabwe and fostering resilience against climate change.