The National Insurance Commission (NIC) has called on government to subsidize agricultural insurance products for farmers.
The call comes at a time when the NIC says farmers in the country cannot afford premiums charged.
In collaboration with the German International Cooperation (GIZ) the NIC launched an agricultural insurance policy to protect farmers against financial risks resulting from the negative impact of climate change.
The Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool (GAIP) was set up in 2011 to provide agricultural insurance for farmers and financiers of agriculture in Ghana.
The Pool is made up of 19 non-life insurance companies in Ghana and it operates under the umbrella of the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA).
The project also aims at laying the foundation for the development of further agricultural insurance products potentially through investments in meteorological infrastructure to improve data collection and analysis.
The insurance packages under the project are intended to protect farmers, agro-processors, rural and financial institutions and input dealers, among others, in the event of crop failure due to extreme weather conditions like drought, excess rainfall and floods.
Though the policy on its inception had well over three thousand farmers buy premiums, these numbers have dropped significantly to about three hundred because the farmers say the premiums are expensive.
Speaking to Citi Business News Commissioner of Insurance of the National Insurance Commission Lydia Lariba Bawa said government should have a budgetary allocation for subsidies on agricultural insurance to enroll more farmers on the scheme.
“We need to subsidize the policy for the farmers because Nigeria does and in the Western world they do too. When you go to Eastern and Southern Africa agric insurance is a big thing especially due to the fact that they are into mechanized farming. Therefore government must consider reducing the price of the premiums for the farmers who can be encouraged to stay in the profession.”
She bemoaned that most Ghanaian farmers are into peasant farming saying the pilot project was successful but the government should step in to subsidize the policy for the farmers.
By: Norvan Acquah – Hayford/citifmonline.com/Ghana