As climate change continues to threaten the farming community in the country, Botswana Insurance Company (BIC) in conjunction with Value Chain Farming Africa Botswana held a conference for local farmers to enlighten them of possible measures to avert devastating loses. BIC sponsored the first ever International Agribusiness Summer School Conference for local farmers which ran for a period of three days from 1st – 3rd February 2018. Speaking at the official opening the conference VCF Managing Director Tshepiso Ntshobotho said the conference will be a biannual conference as it will be held in summer and winter. Ntshobotho said the aim of the conference is to promote Agribusiness development in the continent of Africa. She said the conference is integral to farmers as it will help bring up solutions and new innovations on how to tackle the problems that farmers are faced with in agriculture. Ntshobotho said her company is geared towards a massive transformation of the Botswana agribusiness industry. She explained that this will only be accomplished through working together with stakeholders involved in agriculture. They want to help local farmers get connected to the rest of the world in order to provide growth and readily available markets for them. This, she said, will improve access to finance, information, market, water and contemporary technology which are needed to grow business.
For his part AON Botswana representative Keakabetse Maano urged local farmers to always think insurance when they do their business. Maano said running a business is a big thing, so nothing should be left to chance. He said insuring their business will help them to be protected from the unforeseen circumstances. Maano said through BIC farmers can enjoy the Agri-insurance tailor-made for them. He said there are currently policies that cover animals and crops that farmers can choose from. BIC representative Nokuthabha Mtunzie buttressed the importance of insurance in agriculture. Mtunzie said insurance lessens the impact of drought on farmers especially in this era of climate change. She said they are currently working with their partners to look on weather index policy which will help farmers to be able to monitor the climate conditions around their areas of production. She revealed that with technology farmers will be able to know their climate conditions and plan on how to address situations in time. “This can only be possible through private public partnerships as all stakeholders are needed for the development of the policy,” she said. Farmers went through classes on areas of piggery, dairy, poultry, beef, mushroom and others that contribute to agricultural sector. This was way of empowering them to become better producers of food in the country.