YESTERDAY we reported that the government plans to introduce an insurance cover for crops to protect farmers against losses brought about by natural disasters such as prolonged droughts, floods, pests and diseases.
Besides protection against such calamities, the insurance cover will also enable farmers to access credit services from financial institutions. To start with, two crops will be insured in the 2019/2020 farming season, according to Minister for Agriculture Japhet Hasunga.
With this arrangement, when farmers’ crops are destroyed by the calamities, they will be entitled to compensation for the damage caused to them. So, farmers stand to benefit a lot from this insurance cover for it will give relief, which they had never experienced before.
We commend the government for coming up with this forward looking initiative because it is going to help many farmers, who often languish in poverty whenever their farms and crops are destroyed by such calamities and have nobody to help them.
As it is often said by stakeholders, since the agricultural sector employs the majority of Tanzanians if it is improved, it means the lives of the majority of Tanzanians will also improve as well as their life expectancy.
This is because people will be sure of having healthy diets due to food security and cash flow. Reports conducted in many parts of the world show that although natural calamities may occur independently of human or animal activities, destructive human activities such as deforestation, environmental and air pollution and destruction of water sources increase both their frequency and intensity.
So, humans are partly responsible for climate change and its adverse effects. As Tanzania envisions becoming a middle-income and industrial economy by 2025, improvement in the agricultural sector is extremely important to produce raw materials for manufacturing and processing industries.
This just shows how the agricultural sector is inextricably linked to the industrial economy. Added to this is job creation to the unemployed youth.
Data from the International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2019 (WESO) shows that the majority of 3.3 billion people employed globally in 2018 had inadequate economic security, material well-being and equality of opportunity.
In Africa, the labour force is projected to expand by more than 14 million per year and economic growth rates until 2020 are expected to be too low to create enough quality jobs for this fast-growing labour force.
All this will throw many Africans into the working poor category – that is people who are working, but due to economic hardships they earn almost always below a given poverty line.
So, the unemployment problem can be solved by improving the agricultural sector and the establishment of many industries in the country.
Therefore, as Tanzanians welcome the insurance cover for crops, there is a need to engage in best agricultural practices to mitigate climate change effects and natural calamities.