Gov't to subsidise first crop insurance premium for 1,000 farmersMonday, July 26, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The agriculture and fisheries ministry will subsidise the first premium for the first 1,000 farmers who sign up for crop insurance coverage to the tune of $3,500 under GK Weather Protect, with the women and youth receiving a subsidy of $5,000.
“We have to put in place good strategies to protect our farmers,” said portfolio minister Floyd Green, who noted that with the launch of the parametric insurance scheme by GK Insurance, farmers will now be able to receive compensation for crop losses resulting from weather-related events such as hurricanes, extensive rain and drought within seven days of the event.
He was speaking on July 22 during a tour of the REDI 11 $26-million World-Bank funded Cluster of Greenhouses and Water Harvesting Project implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund in collaboration with the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) in Content, Manchester.
Under the $26-million project, the Content Farmers Group received 20 greenhouses, a packing shed and a water harvesting pond. An additional pond was constructed by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
The agriculture minister thanked the World Bank for working with the minister of finance and planning in securing the Catastrophe Fund, stating that as a small-island developing state it was very critical that the country prepares for weather-related events that in the past have completely destroyed and set back the country, especially the agricultural sector.
Green said that between 2004 and 2010, the agricultural sector suffered over $200 billion in losses directly related to weather events while last October, following significant rains, the sector suffered $2 billion in losses affecting 14, 000 farmers.
He also expressed appreciation to the World Bank for being a committed partner, pointing out that their assistance has helped to accelerate the pace of growth in the agricultural sector with the highest level of production recorded in the first quarter of last year despite COVID-19 and the second highest level of production in the first quarter of 2021.
Green said projects such as the greenhouse cluster at Content are reaping rewards and that it will take partnerships to move the sector and the farmers forward.
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