Better interventions: Dr Sarah Sewanyana, Economic Policy Research Centre executive director, which organised the forum, said there should be a process towards better interventions in particular by government.
The Agriculture Insurance Scheme has grown to Shs4.5b in terms of premiums, with actual utilisation from the government programmes standing at Shs1.5b, according to the Agro Consortium, which brings together 10 local insurers.
Speaking at the National Agriculture and Food Security Forum in Kampala yesterday, Ms Joan Nyangoma, of the Agro Consortium, said over the past two years, the scheme has been able to reach 50,000 farmers across the country.
“We have settled claims worth Shs2.1b as of 2017 and the exposure nationally is about Shs12b,” she said.
In his address, Mr Musa Lukwago from the Ministry of Finance, urged the private sector to get involved in the scheme to increase uptake.
“This is a pilot agriculture insurance scheme, which in our view needs to be complemented by the private sector, because demand from the farming communities is very broad,” he said.
The forum seeks to mitigate agricultural risks in order to enhance food security and agricultural commercialisation in Uganda.
Findings shared at the forum also showed that a host of structural challenges in particular farm inputs being used, lack of well researched data on yields and numerous taxes have stood in the way of wide uptake of insurance cover by farmers.
“We have been trying out insurance protection with our farmers in the vegetable oil sector but with little success. It has turned out to be very expensive and more so since most of our farmers use loans, we need a way out,” said Ms Connie Masaba from the Vegetable Oilseed Development Programme in the Ministry of Agriculture.
Advancing agricultural insurance, experts argue, government must before anything, sort the value chain constraints such as inputs, which according to Joshua Balungira from University of Anglia, will guarantee a higher yield.