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14 November 2017 | Sci/Environment

Embrace Insurance Products To Cushion Farmers

GNA
Embrace Insurance Products To Cushion Farmers

From: Lydia Kukua Asamoah, GNA Special Correspondent in Bonn, Germany

(Courtesy: GIZ Ghana, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ghana Chamber of Mines)

Bonn, Nov 14, GNA - Mr Kingsley Kwako Amoako, Head of Environment and Climate Unit at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has said Ghana needs to embrace global interventions that could cushion farmers to mitigate and adapt to climate related disasters.

This, is because the agricultural sector in Ghana was very vulnerable to climate vulnerability and change.

He said some of the major climate risks in Ghana included; flash floods, which affect most of the crops of smallholder farmers, who in turn rely on government for assistance in those difficult moment.

He explained that the country's agriculture sector was also dominated by small holder farmers who produce over 80 per cent of the country's food needs while practitioners of agriculture were mostly smallholder farmers and who have limited capacities to cope with the impact of climate change.

Mr Amoako who doubles as a Deputy Director of the Environment, Land and Water Management Unit Directorate of Crop Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said since the sector was a major economic area that supported the livelihoods of over 80 per cent of the population, the government needed to subscribe to global schemes that could cushion farmers to be back on their feet after experiencing climate impacted disasters.

Speaking at a Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) side-event programme organised alongside the ongoing UN Conference of Parties (COP23) in Bonn Germany, Mr Amoako said Ghana also needed to expedite action in subscribing to the African Risk Capacity (ARC) insurance scheme, to help promote food security and a rapid development of its agriculture sector.

The event brought together a panel of experts that discussed how insurance risk could be tapped to address climate-related disasters in the developing countries, including Ghana and Grenada.

The ARC was established in 2012 as a specialised agency of the African Union to help member states better plan, prepare and respond to Climate Change-related disasters, as it works with countries to reduce the risk of loss and damage caused by extreme weather events affecting Africa's populations.

The ARC initiative also provides sovereign disaster risk insurance and other support, including; capacity building, contingency planning, and access to early-warning technology to member states.

'These are insurance products for Africa, own by Africans, and governments can subscribe to these insurance scheme, and by-product.

'But before these things are done they need to do a serious analysis of what the situation on the ground is so that it can inform the level of premium that the government will buy and also, target the most vulnerable areas of the country', Mr Amoako noted.

'So that if the unexpected happens, we know the area that had been insured, the number of farmers there and even the type of agricultural activities that had been insured.

'So at the national scale or higher level, government definitely needs to look at the possibility of subscribing to the Africa Risk Capacity insurance policy and if government is able to do that, it will be better for the country', he said.

He said: 'If an event happens, for example, drought or prolong dry-spell that will destroy the crops that have been planted by farmers, there will be a pay-out to the farmers who have lost their crops.

'In the same vain when there is a flash-flood, there will definitely be a pay-out. So the farmer will not bounce back fully, but there will be a cushion to bring him back to start again his livelihoods. That is one good thing that will happen to a framer if government should subscribe to the ARC'.

Mr Amoako explained that the ARC insurance works like the normal insurance that were in the country but then that was a sovereign insurance where the country would have to buy the products from the ARC Insurance scheme, 'so that if a disaster or an event happens in our country and within the threshold that have been agreed by both countries, then insurance scheme pays government of Ghana.

'The government will in turn use that resources to support the affected farmers to bounce back'.

The organisation of COP23 in Bonn, being hosted by the Fiji Republic as the Chair, is being supported by the German Government.

Delegates around the globe are hoping to ensure greater momentum for the Paris Agreement and to raise the level of ambition needed to address global warming at the two week event.

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