Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo says satellite data is currently being compiled to ascertain the number of farmers affected by floods and drought that could benefit from the Weather Index Insurance.

The insurance scheme, operated by Mayfair Insurance Limited states that it provides cover against the occurrence of specific events such as drought, has been providing protection to farmers under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), Zambia National Farmers Union and other organisations supporting farmer projects.

The Weather Index Insurance uses satellite data to monitor the given weather pattern over a particular region and based on the satellite data, the average rainfall is determined and during the season, deviations from the set normal rainfall result in automatic payouts.

But some farmers in Eastern and Southern Province have protested that their K100 contributions to this insurance has never benefitted them, and are therefor calling for its removal.

But in an interview, Katambo said the exercise is ongoing and he would give a comprehensive report once it is done.

“That’s when they are implementing and the exercise is on-going. The response is generally…up to the experts using their satellite data now to know who is affected and in which area, that’s why the exercise is still on going. The insurance uses what they call satellite data, so the satellite data will pick, depict in which areas and who is affected and what. So there is still a compilation and we can’t give a comprehensive report because the exercise is still on going. It’s automatic that a farmer contributes K400, and government gives K1,700, the K100 goes for the Weather Index Insurance so it’s a straight forward thing,” said Katambo.