NBC bank will implement the initiative by submitting health insurance contributions directly to the Insurance Fund on behalf of farmers who operate NBC bank accounts and access Agricultural loans through the bank.
Speaking at a brief MoU signing ceremony, NBC Bank’s Managing Director, Theobald Sabi and NHIF Director General, Bernard Konga said the initiative aims to accommodate more citizens - especially farmers - in the Health Insurance system and thus build the nation’s economy responsibly while in good health.
"As a bank, in order to continue to do better we need to have a strong economy that is also based on a healthy workforce. The issue of quality health care for our clients, including farmers, is one of our priorities and that is the reason we did not hesitate to join “Ushirika Afya” initiative,'' Sabi said.
According to Sabi, through the scheme, a farmer will be contributed a total of 76,800/- per year. If the farmer has a spouse or children, a sum of 76,800/- and 50,400/- per child will be contributed respectively.
"This insurance will be provided by NHIF and will be available at all NBC branches across the country so I urge farmers to take advantage of this opportunity. For our part, bank officials are planning to visit cooperative farmers to ensure that they receive this good news through NBC bank, '' added Sabi.
For his part, Konga assured all farmers who will join the program that they will have access to quality services more easily while noting that the institution is committed to simplifying services through improvements to its ICT infrastructure.
"I am confident that through the partnership between NBC and farmers across the country, this initiative will be a great success as the main goal is to reach farmers wherever they are so that we can increase the scope of beneficiaries of this fund," said Mr Konga citing that only 8% of Tanzanians use the health insurance service through the fund.
For his part, the Registrar of Cooperatives, Tanzania Dr. Benson Ndiege, while congratulating the two institutions for the important agreement, said that in order for the program to be successful, there is a need to ensure that cooperatives in the country become more self-reliant so that farmers continue to be part of the formal system.
“I would also like to emphasize that through this program farmers should be assured of access to quality services as intended to attract more farmers. However, I am not worried about the efficiency of this initiative as I am well aware of the strength of these two institutions - NBC and NHIF.'' he concluded.