Climate Change Risk:New Agric Insurance Scheme Covers About 8000 Cotton Farmers

Stakeholders for climate change

The World Bank-backed initiative is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Farmers in countries like Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Kenya and Zambia have, in recent years been less likely to suffer from losses linked to climate change induced poor crop yields, thanks to the introduction of the Global Mechanism for Index Insurance (GIF).

Cotton farmers in Cameroon have also boarded the train, as a World Bank initiative facilitating the introduction of the Indexed Agricultural Insurance in Cameroon comes to fruition. It was launched in Yaounde on August 2, by Gabriel Mbairobe, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in a ceremony during which insurance companies selected by the World Bank’s International Financial Cooperation (IFC) signed a partnership with the Cameroon cotton production corporation (SODECOTON) and the Confederation of Cotton Producers of Cameroon (CNPP).

The insurance companies that will be covering climate change risks for cotton farmers in Cameroon are AXA and ACTIIVA. During the August 2 ceremony, the President of the Confederation of Cotton Producers of Cameroon disclosed that some 7,738 cotton farmers had signed up to the new insurance scheme, which according to Minister Mbairobe, falls in line with a shared objective of the government of Cameroon and the WorldBank - to promote food security and push sustainable development in the agricultural sector.

 He said the introduction of the Indexed Agricultural Insurance comes at the right time as many cotton farmers, particularly in the northern regions are troubled by unstable rainfall. As of May 22, about 10,000 hectares of cotton had already been insured by the companies for the May- November 2019 farming season, he disclosed.

The project, described by Minister Mbairobe as an excellent example of a public private Partnership (PPT) in the agricultural sector, is only in its trial phase. Theirry Kepeden, General Manager of AXA, said the insurance scheme expected to contribute in poverty alleviation in rural areas will be extended to other agricultural products like maize which is cultivated by 80 per cent of farmers nationwide (about 2.4 million farmers) and sorghum, a crop cultivated by some 1.4 million Cameroonians.

We gathered the trial phase will be carried out in the Adamawa, Centre, East, Littoral, North, North West and South West regions in collaboration with the maize development project of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development known as PIDMA. The insurance companies requested government should make the task easier by providing VAT exonerations on the agricultural insurance premiums, supporting good agricultural practices, professionalising farmers’ cooperatives and promoting financial education.

The Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, the Ministries of Finance, Trade, Labour and Social Security are also involved in the implementation of the project.

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