Insure crops against El Nino drought

HARARE - A leading agriculture information portal has urged farmers to sign up for new crop insurance against predicted crop failure due to the looming El-Nino-induced drought.

The Farmers Voice warned farmers of the looming El Nino — a warming of sea surface temperatures in the Pacific which can lead to scorching weather in eastern and southern Africa. Up until recently, farmers in Zimbabwe could only insure against hail, fire or frost.

But after many of years of planning and improvements in climate prediction technology, multi-peril crop insurance products have come onto the market.

The catch, of course, has been the cost.

Farmers Voice said “the government needs to promote insurance or make it part of its Command Agriculture package”.

There is general consensus that this year’s maize output will be way below potential. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network — a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity — warned that between July and September this year, food crisis is expected across most typical grain deficit districts in the southern part of the country as stocks dry out.

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