Gov't in talks with insurance companies to provide coverage for farmers

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Gov't in talks with insurance companies to provide coverage for farmers

Sunday, January 24, 2021

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ST JAMES, Jamaica — The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is taking steps to provide insurance coverage for the island's large and small-scale farmers through partnership with the private sector.

Addressing farmers at the Albert Town High School in Trelawny on Friday following a tour of southern sections of the parish, Portfolio Minister, Floyd Green, said that talks are underway with insurance companies for the provision of health and general insurance coverage.

“What we are trying to do is ensure that our farmers are more secure… in their personal space and in relation to just their livelihood. We have started to engage the private sector and I have sat down with a couple of companies to say 'it is time that you put together a special insurance package for our farmers,” Green said.

He pointed out that having an insurance scheme in place will better assist farmers to rebound from a natural disaster as well as provide financial protection for their families in the event of death.

“It is too difficult often times, when a farmer works so hard, gives so much and gives to the family and we all face that day when unfortunately you pass and there is not even anything to put you underground,” he pointed out.

The minister said that the discussions have been fruitful, with at least one company looking to finalise plans with the Government this year.

“At least one private sector company is very serious and I hope that at the end of the first quarter of this year we will partner with a private company to make some announcement about an insurance scheme that our farmers can buy into and pay into and secure their livelihoods,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture and Fisheries Minister re-emphasised the importance of agriculture to economic development, especially amidst the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Those of us, who grew up around farming, always knew that nothing is more important than agriculture. Agriculture can never be replaced and because of COVID, now everybody recognises this,” he pointed out.

Minister Green and officials from the Ministry and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) toured several farms in Sawyers, Rock Spring and Highgate Hall, to get a first-hand view of diversified crop production in the area.

— JIS


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