Agriculture ministry to partner with private sector to get more farmers insured
ST JAMES, Jamaica— Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Floyd Green, says the ministry will be partnering with the private sector to get more farmers insured.
“Part of what we are doing in partnering with the private sector is to ensure that in times of drought [or] flood, you don’t have to look to the Government to provide that response; you can put down something for the proverbial rainy day,” he said.
The minister was addressing the Agriculture Ministry’s FACE of Food Stakeholder Engagement Session, which was held in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, recently.
The session sought to inform stakeholders about the ministry’s FACE initiative, which refers to its strategic pillars – Food security, Agribusiness development, Climate-smart technologies and Export expansion.
Green announced recently that some 27 farmers, who were insured under the GK Insurance Weather Protect Scheme, who had been impacted by the recent heavy rains, are set to receive payouts.
The farmers, who are from the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester and St Elizabeth, took advantage of the Government’s incentive regime and signed up for the basic coverage that was provided.
Green encouraged farmers to utilise the mobile application that was launched in November last year by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
With the app, which is available for download on Android devices, farmers can access a wealth of information, including crop-monitoring techniques, pest-control strategies and sustainable farming practices.
“A number of you have your WhatsApp groups and you get your information from your RADA extension officer. In fact, you can request a visit from your extension officer just by downloading the app and clicking a button, saying you want your extension officer to come to the farm,” the minister said.
“Additionally, you might go out on the farm and you might see something you are not sure of. You can take a picture, upload it and, automatically, the officer will get it and be able to respond in real-time; so, we are infusing technology in how we provide our services,” he added.
Green further outlined that this year the Ministry will be going on a significant drive to ensure that farmers are utilising the app.