Rwandan farmers have, so far, received about Rwf3 billion in compensation for crop and livestock loss suffered as a result of disasters such as floods, drought, and diseases, ever since the launch of a national agriculture insurance scheme in 2019, data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) shows. The compensation comprises more than Rwf1.5 billion for crop damage and more than Rwf1.4 billion for livestock loss. ALSO READ: Tech-based insurance scheme to cushion farmers against losses The latest such compensation was effected on July 28, in Gatsibo District, Eastern Province, where BK Insurance paid more than Rwf240 million to farmers in 80 cooperatives growing crops including maize, rice, and irish potatoes. The farmers who had insurance cover, incurred losses from disasters in the farming season A and B of 2023 – September 2022 through June 2023. One of the cooperatives is COPRORIZ Ntende, which counts 3,761 rice farmers in Ntende marshland in Gatsibo District’s Rugarama Sector. Etienne Isabane, a manager of the agriculture department in COPRORIZ Ntende, told The New Times that its rice harvest, on 44 hectares, was damaged by floods that hit farms in March and April. The cooperative carries out farming on 600 hectares. The 44 hectares damaged by floods represent slightly over 7 per cent of the total acreage. “We were expecting to harvest 210 tonnes of rice on the 44 hectares, which amount to Rwf94.5 million – as a kilogramme of paddy rice is Rwf450 – but we lost that to floods,” he said. Talking about compensations, he said the cooperative got Rwf13.5 million. For crops, only investments on farm inputs such as seeds and fertilisers made by a farmer, are considered for compensation under the insurance scheme. “Though only such investment is considered for crop compensation, it offers a relief to a farmer. Instead of suffering a total loss, they are at least helped to get money to carry on farming, which they could not manage to do in case of absence of insurance,” Isabane said. For livestock such as cows, the farmer gets compensated with the money equivalent to the value of the insured livestock. ALSO READ: Insurance: Senior citizen receives Rwf700,000 in compensation for loss of cow A look at some agriculture insurance data Since the inception of the insurance scheme, 412,376 crop farmers (235,325 of whom are men, and 177,051 women), and 28,914 livestock farmers (24,322 men and 4,592 women), have got insurance coverage, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture. ALSO READ: Govt to inject Rwf25bn in agriculture insurance The government has spent almost Rwf1.7 billion in subsidies to make insurance affordable for farmers – by covering 40 per cent of the premiums while farmers pay 60 per cent. The total crop area insured amounts to more than 90,000 hectares while insured livestock includes 107,032 cows, 423,544 chickens, and 9,447 pigs.