|First Agricultural Insurance Product Launched|
|Thursday, 30 June 2011 16:08|
The Ghana Agricultural insurance pool and the Ghana Development Cooperation have jointly launched the first drought -index insurance scheme, in Accra, today.
The product, which is a risk management insurance instrument, offers protection against the negative effect of extreme weather events and help farmers as well as their financers to manage drought risk is being rolled out in the three northern regions.
The major focus of the roll out is on bank portfolio protection involving the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Bang Marigu Community Bank and Bonzali Rural Bank in addition to farmers group associated Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).
Addressing participants at the launch, the President of Ghana Insurance Association, Mr. Benjamin Acolatse, was glad Ghana has finally been able to offer insurance protection against the major risk in crop production which provides 50 per cent employment to Ghanaians and contributes over 33 per cent of the country’s GDP.
He was of the view that apart from the challenges of non availability of data and the technological support required for the sector; the farming methods of our people do not provide clear cut guidelines for underwriting agricultural risk, enlarging realistic premium and assessing the true value of claims.
The Director for Financial Sector Division at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), Mrs. Yvonne Quansah, explained that the agricultural sector still lacks adequate tools that will enable them carry out their farming activities smoothly and it is for this reason that government welcomes the initiative as it will provide a means of security for the farmers.
Mrs. Quansah indicated that government is committed to modernizing the agricultural sector to make it a more conducive for young people to delve into that area.
She commended the stakeholders for their efforts in making the dream of strengthening the agricultural sector a reality adding that the advent of agricultural insurance will increase the penetration of insurance in the country.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Insurance Commission, (NIC) Mr. Frederick Quaye Nortey, stated that climate change has been widely accepted seen as a threat and no one can stop it, however, something can be done to protect and safeguard the livelihood of farmers as they are the most vulnerable.
He expressed the hope that the initiative will open an international market for Ghanaian farmers. The Board Chairman announced that NIC is currently reviewing the Insurance Act emphasizing that adequate provision has been made in the bill to cover the risk of farmers.
Source: ISD (Nana Ama Bonnah& Chantal Aidoo)