THE Tanzania Insurance Regulatory Authority (TIRA) has dedicated today as a day to raise awareness and promoting Agricultural Insurance at Nyakabindi grounds in Bariadi District of Simiyu.
The regulator wants to raise awareness on agri-insurance which is still new to the market, and at the moment, only five insurance firms have cleared to offer the cover out of 32 companies.
Speaking at the ongoing 27th Nane Nane agricultural exhibitions, TIRA Acting Director for Planning, Research and Marketing Development, Mr Zakaria Muyengi said they designate the day to equip farmers with appropriate knowledge on the insurance cover.
“This insurance product is still new to most Tanzanians, so through this exhibition we have decided to set aside this special day to educate farmers about this important insurance, we are collaborating with other stakeholders, including the Ministry for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and insurance companies,” he said.
According to him, of the 32 insurance companies in Tanzania, only five have been approved to introduce the insurance cover, but they expect other companies to follow suite after changes are made to amendments to the Value Added Tax Act, CAP 148 to exempt Value Added Tax on agricultural crop insurance.
Agricultural insurance protects against loss of or damage to crops or livestock. It has great potential to provide value to low-income farmers and their communities, both by protecting farmers when shocks occur and by encouraging greater investment in crops.
Other benefits include crop insurance, reducing the need for liquid cash and emergency borrowing in case of loss, as well as guaranteeing peace of mind, all of which boost productivity.
TIRA Senior Legal Officer, Mr Okoka Mgavilenzi said in farming, disasters like drought are inevitable, but crop insurance is the best tool in mitigating some of these risks.
Mr Mgavilenzi further said for livestock, the insurance can cover against losses due to accidental death, theft of livestock or diseases.
“Agricultural insurance guarantees to restore the insured to the position where he/she was before the loss, most people invest a lot of money in such activities, therefore we encourage them to consider opting for insurance because they will have peace of mind once a disaster occurs,” he remarked.
He said some companies provide forest insurance that provides cover against the destruction of trees, earthquake, hail and windstorm.
TIRA is a government agency established under the Ministry of Finance. It runs under the direction of Commissioner of Insurance who reports to a Board of Directors.
The Mandate of TIRA (as stipulated under Section 5 of the Insurance Act No: 10 of 2009), extends to Zanzibar where functions of the Authority are under the supervision of the Deputy Commissioner of Insurance.