Power and Politics

Vice President’s office calls for affordable, accessible insurance schemes tailored to smallholder farmers


The Office of the Vice President has called on financial institutions to develop affordable and accessible insurance schemes tailored to smallholder farmers.

It emphasized that such measures would help mitigate climate change risks and encourage investment in the agricultural sector.

In its 2025 National Budget submissions, the Vice President’s Office highlighted that less than 2 percent of farmers in the country currently have access to insurance.

Agricultural insurance can protect farmers against losses from natural disasters and crop failures, but it is often inaccessible or unaffordable for smallholders.

“Without insurance, farmers face significant financial risks, which can deter investment in their farms and lead to greater poverty,” the Vice President’s Office stated.

Additionally, the office noted that access to credit was essential for purchasing inputs like seeds, fertilizers, and equipment.

However, many smallholders face high-interest rates or lack the necessary collateral.

It indicated that affordable access to finance, mostly through savings groups and NGOs, was critical, as financial barriers limit farmers’ ability to improve productivity and expand their operations.

“Providing low-interest loans, grants and other financial products designed for smallholders can help them invest in their farms and boost productivity,” it submitted.

The Vice President’s Office also pointed out that Farmblocks and Resettlement schemes lack detailed spatial plans to guide social, environmental, and economic proposals.

The absence of spatial development frameworks results in poor alignment between budgets and capital investment plans.

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“Without a spatial approach to farm block development, farming is assumed to take place without the appropriate human resources required to reside within the farm blocks,” the office stated.

It added that labor shortages in farm blocks, due to limited access to land, reduce the available population to offer an immediate market for fast-consumer agricultural products needed locally.

The office also emphasized the importance of extension services for providing farmers with knowledge on best agricultural practices, pest control, and modern farming techniques.

“Access to extension services is limited and primarily available in areas close to urban centers. This situation worsens as more citizens adopt farming as self-employment due to limited white-collar job opportunities,” it reiterated.

Without these services, smallholders may continue using outdated methods, leading to lower productivity and crop losses.

The Vice President’s Office also noted that the high use of the internet to learn agriculture is creating unrealistic expectations among first-time farmers.

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