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December 06, 2007

Rwanda to institute insurance scheme for farmers

A farmers’ insurance scheme starts next year in Rwanda in a bid to enable farmers to access financial assistance from banks for investment in agricultural activities, Local Government minister, Protais Musoni, has said.

He was addressing MPs on the Economic Revolution Programme and Vision 2020 Umurenge, which focuses on rural development.

Plans for the scheme will be completed by January 2008, Musoni said.

“Under the insurance scheme, farmers will be able to get a retirement package like any other employee and the Social Security Fund is helping in the initiative,” he explained. He said that the scheme will help farmers in cooperatives to easily access fertilizers and high quality seeds.

“It is in line with Vision 2020 Umurenge which is aimed at uplifting the standards of people in rural areas through massive involvement in commercial agriculture other than subsistence farming,” Musoni said. He urged farmers to join cooperatives where they could pool their resources together and improve their agricultural earnings.

MP Ezekias Rwabuhihi observed that people fear investing in agriculture because of price fluctuations and the banks’ reluctance to give loan facilities to farmers. He called on banks to start helping farmers to acquire soft loans and advice to enable them benefit from agricultural investments.

New Times

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