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Cotton growers benefit from drought insurance

Over 35 cotton growers in the country have benefitted from a Drought Input Insurance that United General Insurance Company (UGI) signed with one of the country’s cotton industry players, Afrisian.

The drought insurance is designed to hedge cotton growers against harsh weather conditions during a growing season.

On Tuesday, UGI paid out K2.748 million to the cotton growers whose crops were affected by the dry spell which hit the country in January and February.

UGI Chief Operations Officer Macdonald Chibwe said the drought insurance policy could help boost farming in the country.

Chibwe said UGI is committed to innovation by, among other things, designing products that protect people from significant risks.

“We are really excited about the idea of offering a drought input insurance product to the rural market which has generally been ignored by other insurers,” Chibwe said.

Afrisian General Manager, Anil Zacharia, said his firm subscribed to the drought insurance product after observing that growers under its contract farming scheme were struggling to repay input costs in the event of a drought.

“We were, therefore, very excited by the Drought Input Insurance from UGI and the Malawi Oilseed Sector Transformation as it ensures that farmers’ inputs are covered by insurance with the aim that through the insurance payouts, the farmers can replant or clear their input debts,” Zacharia said.

One of the farmers who benefitted from the insurance, Joseph Saiti, was thankful to UGI for honouring its promise.

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