Farmers are lobbying for increased insurance coverage of crops as rains continue to washing away hundreds of hectares of land.
According to the government official figures, over 3,026 hectares under crops have been washed away by floods in different parts of the country between January and April. “My two acres of carrots have been submerged while cucumbers have been washed away,” said Josephine Uwababyeyi, a vegetable farmer in Musanze district.
“We had potatoes that had already been sprayed, the beans that had already been planted, those who had ripe vegetables waiting to be harvested, all of which you could not see because they are submerged by water.
We are now wondering how people will live while we are not covered by insurance,” she added.
According to Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources around 56,868 farmers are covered by crop insurance covering 10,303 hectares.
The insurance covers rice on 9,949 hectares while 354 hectares are of maize. Figures further indicate that only 1,349 hectares of maize and rice have been affected. Ministry’s consolidated figures indicate that 173 hectares loss happened in season A 2020 and 1,176.36 hectares season B 2020.
Ministry of Agriculture said the main cause of losses was due to heavy rain resulting in flooding. However, farmers said increased insurance coverage from the current rice and maize to other crops will cushion them from losses.
“We are not covered by any insurance as we wanted wide-ranging insurance coverage. We want to have insurance covers us on grain-eating birds, which are threat to our production day in day out,” said Peter Muyango, head of rice farming co-operative in Umuvumba wetland.