The Relevancy of Crop Insurance in Enhancing Food Security in Zimbabwe
85 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2009
Date Written: May 8, 2008
Food security is a critical phenomenon amongst developing countries. Most nations are now placing greater emphasis on crop insurance as a means of managing farming risk and enhancing food security. With Southern Africa having been hit by weather hazards such as floods and drought over the past few decades and its agricultural output continuing its downward plunge, the paper explores the relevancy of crop insurance in enhancing food security and facilitating agricultural productivity in Zimbabwe.
The study looks at the benefits of crop insurance, conditions necessary for a sustainable crop insurance program, and emerging perspectives on crop insurance. The research also explores case studies of countries that are using crop insurance, giving a radical analysis of how it has contributed to food security enhancement. There is also further literature on crop insurance in both developed and developing countries.
Fifteen farms were surveyed through questionnaires. The target respondents were either farm managers, or owners. Samples for investigation purposes were selected using the probability sampling procedures and descriptive statistical measures were used to analyse the data.
The survey showed that farmers are mostly affected by climatic risks. This therefore was suggested by the paper to be the foundation of a successful crop insurance programme as any crop insurance facility would be measured by its coverage of climatic risks.
The study also showed that 30% of the respondents were not willing to take up crop insurance for various reasons. It also revealed that 55% of the farmers had no crop insurance and 10% had no knowledge of crop insurance at all. However, despite the statistics obtained, the survey revealed that most farmers were willing to take up crop insurance given that there is an improvement in terms of its coverage. Most farmers expressed their willingness to participate in the restructuring of a new comprehensive crop insurance facility.
The research concluded that Zimbabwean agriculture industry does not meet the conditions necessary for a sustainable crop insurance program. The research further gave recommendations that may ensure the successful implementation of a comprehensive crop insurance facility. The paper also gave suggestion of a typical crop insurance program that may be used in Zimbabwe.
The paper concluded that crop insurance can enhance food security in Zimbabwe but can not be singled out as the panacea to the food security crises in Zimbabwe. There is need for complementary programmes from the government, the financing institutions, research institutions and meteorological bureaus and there is also need for cooperation amongst the farmers.
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