Cattle farmers are reportedly reluctant to insure their livestock after they lost insurance cover during the 2008 hyperinflation period.
Their insurance policies to cover two million beasts across the country were rendered valueless at the time of the hyper-inflation crisis in the country in 2008, a Jupiter Insurance Company (JIC) official said last week.
In an interview on the sidelines of a livestock symposium at a hotel in Bulawayo, JIC business development executive Max Uzande (Jr) said when the multi-currency system was introduced, cattle insurance policy holders throughout the country lost out on their premiums.
“Farmers had insured their cattle against theft, diseases, lightning, death and malicious damage. Over two million cattle were insured by farmers. But when the dollarisation of currency came, all farmers’ policies lost value and there were no policy covers to talk about,” said Uzande.
The government has said it will not compensate insurance policy holders who lost out at the height of the economic crisis because insurance companies should have hedged their clients’ investment against such eventualities.
“Previously it had become mandatory for farmers to insure their livestock, but at the moment it is not the case because of what befell those who previously did so and lost out,” said Zhande.
“Funding for the livestock sector is a serious challenge as there is currently no designated government programme on livestock development.”
Zimbabwe has about 5,1 million herd of cattle, with a majority of them owned by communal farmers.