Up to 50,000 farmers have so far participated in Rwanda’s government-backed Hinga Urishingiwe crop insurance scheme, the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources has revealed
Launched in partnership with Switzerland-based Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Development (SFSA), the scheme was introduced on a trial basis in the Western and Southern provinces in 2012.
Ernest Ruzindaza, the ministry’s permanent secretary, recently told Rwandan newspaper The New Times that the next step was to extend the scheme to the rest of the country.
Ruzindaza said that besides compensation in case of loss as a result of changing weather patterns, the scheme also helps empower beneficiaries with farming knowledge and information.
“As a result, we have seen production increase tremendously in areas where residents have embraced this scheme,” he commented.
The initiative also involved the installation of eight automated weather stations in the two pilot provinces.
Ruzindaza explained that the stations have transmission systems that record and disseminate regular updates on weather patterns to farmers and the public in general. The government said it hopes these efforts will boost production of small-scale farmers and ultimately ensure sustained food security in the country.
Those who subscribe to the scheme are also provided with fertilisers through the One Acre Fund, a non-governmental organisation which invests in farmers to generate a permanent gain in farm income in Rwanda, Kenya and Burundi.