Insurance for smallholders and small farmers is often thought to be virtually unaffordable. However, you might be pleasantly surprised at what is available against agricultural risks.

FinMark Trust reports that, although smallholder agriculture is a significant component of (urban) livelihood strategies, approximately 30% of smallholder farmers use formal insurance services. However, this was primarily personal life insurance cover and only a negligible proportion is noted for agricultural insurance.

As climate change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events smallholders are becoming more and more at risk.

Anyone who is trying to make an income from their land needs to consider protecting themselves from the effects of drought, theft, disease, flooding, fire and storms.

insure for smallholders
Livestock can be covered against theft, disease or accidents.

Insurance for smallholders can include can cover against very specific risks. For example, if you have livestock, you can insure against foot and mouth disease, redwater fever, heartwater fever, gall sickness, pulpy kidney or blue tongue, depending on the species and what is prevalent in your area. You will have to prove, where relevant, that you have inoculated insured animals against the specific illness within twelve months of their death. Make sure that you have proof of the correct storage and application of the serum.

Or you can insure against impotence in a pedigreed bull or ram, as long as you have a certificate to prove fertility at the time of insuring.

More generally you can cover your bloodstock and livestock against fire, lightning, storm, disease, violent accident, accidental poisoning, freezing and attack. You can cover the animals during transportation as well. You can also insure against the risk of your livestock breaking through fences and roaming onto roads or neighbouring land, where they may destroy crops or interfere with breeding stock.

Insure your assets

You can insure your infrastructure.

Obviously you can insure your assets such as buildings, dams, irrigation systems, plastic tunnels, boreholes, machinery, electronic equipment, vehicles, tractors and implements.

You can get cover for loss of crop and hay stacks or bales.

Some companies cover you for dishonest and unlawful actions by employees that could harm your finances or reputation.

If you run your business from you plot you can have business interruption insurance.

Insurers do not insure against nationalisation, commandeering, expropriation or requisition by any lawfully constituted authority.

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