Since the beginning of November 2019, Rwanda has increasingly experienced heavy rains, affecting most parts of the country. The most affected districts are Ngororero, Nyabihu, Nyamasheke and Rusizi in Western province, Musanze and Rulindo in Northern Province, and Gisagara in the Southern province. The farmers who were reimbursed had subscribed for crops and livestock insurance.
In Gisagara district, four sectors were affected, namely Mamba, Gishubi, Kansi, and Muganza, with maximum recorded rainfall at 35.6mm. On Thursday, January 16th, 2020, farmers from Gisagara district received Rwf 13,538,112 for their damaged crops.
As for cattle owners, 59 cows died during the floods and so far, 51 were reimbursed with Rwf 35,700,000. 4000 livestock are currently insured across the country.
Livestock insurance covers domesticated animals such as cattle, sheep, pigs, and horses as well as barns, stables, and other farm structures, farm personal property like grain, hay and machinery, the farm dwelling, and household property.
Damages are still being assessed across the country but so far, Rwf 13,538,112 for 108 hectares of rice damaged during November rains have been reimbursed in Gisagara district.
Rice farmers from Gisagara district have formed three cooperatives. Farmers from Musha, Kiri marshlands, Nyiramageni and Ngiryi have already been reimbursed.
Kayitsinga Azaria, one of the rice farmers in Gisagara says the loss was unimaginable but that they will be able to recover from the damages as they have been reimbursed.
“All 46 hectares of rice I had cultivated were damaged during the floods. I am very happy about the reimbursement I have received and I will be able to recover from the loss I incurred.”
Nshimiyimana Evariste, Ngiryi Cooperative president called upon farmers who have not yet insured their livestock and farms to do so just to avoid loss brought by unexpected floods.
“Beans, tomatoes, cassavas and plantain should be insured since we have all seen how unpredictable the climate can be.”
Habineza Jean Paul, Gisagara Vice Mayor in charge of economic development recommended all farmers in Gisagara District to insure their crops and livestock.
“Crops including rice, corn, plantain, beans, and cassavas as well as livestock should be insured in anticipation of the effects of climate change.”
Marion Nirere Mulindwa, MINAGRI SPIU Coordinator said that MINAGRI has in its responsibilities to inform and recommend to farmers the best livestock and crop insurance covers.
“A portion of next year’s national budget has been allocated to the insurance of more crops including sweet potatoes, cassavas, Irish potatoes, soybeans, chili, and vegetables. We have also planned for livestock insurance including pigs and poultry. We intend to inform all farmers across the country about the benefits of livestock and crop insurance.”
In Rwanda, 2500 farmers have registered for insurance for 1775 hectares of land while 4000 are registered for livestock insurance. Farmers across the country have been sensitized to insure their livestock and crops to counter the effects of climate change.
MINAGRI started offering livestock and crop insurance in April 2019 and partners with insurers such as Radiant, Sonarwa, and Prime.