PR –The Ministry of Agriculture is optimistic about the success and potential positive impact of the Agriculture Risk Insurance product which is being implemented with support from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
This project was initiated in response to the devastating impact on the agriculture sector by hurricanes Ivan and Emily in 2004 and 2005 respectively, which destroyed 99 % of nutmeg and cocoa plantations. The decision was taken to pilot this project in the cocoa and nutmeg sub-sectors as the relevant data was available.
Hon. Peter David, Minister for Agriculture, Lands, and Forestry, anticipates a positive impact on the lives of sector stakeholders.
He said, “Implementing such a project is an innovative response that will help farmers rebound faster and reduce the burden on government, to restore livelihoods after major weather events. It also serves as a catalyst for extending credit to farmers covered by insurance.”
The Agriculture Minister was delivering remarks at the 37th Conference of the FAO in Latin America and the Caribbean, recently held in Ecuador. Minister David and colleague Agriculture Ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean met to evaluate the work done by FAO in their respective countries over the last two years and to agree on recommendations for initiatives and priorities that will guide the organisation’s work during 2022-2023.
Updating the meeting on the progress made he noted that, “the Ministry has completed the hybrid insurance product design – incorporating parametric and indemnity insurance – which covers losses associated with wind; completed modeling of wind speed component and risk analysis; and selected insurance broker, Willis Towers Watson, to approach the reinsurance market in search of the optimal price.”
The Ministry of Agriculture has been collaborating with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to develop an insurance scheme for farmers as part of a pilot project that was also implemented in Jamaica and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Reflecting on the experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, climatic risks, and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine Conflict, the Minister said implementing a project of such magnitude can help countries within Latin America and the Caribbean redouble their efforts toward the attainment of food and nutrition security.
It is anticipated that the insurance product can be implemented fully before the start of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season.