At a meeting organized by IICA, international experts underscored the importance of facilitating risk management tools for small and medium-scale producers.
Washington, March 3, 2014 (IICA). More than 25 specialists from Latin America and the Caribbean met in Washington to discuss the successes, challenges, and priorities of agricultural insurance in the hemisphere, with a view to promoting options that make it possible to tackle the challenges posed by climate change.
The symposium, an event organized annually by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), focused on a review of the current situation of countries in the region with regard to this issue, as well as the key role that the financing and creation of public-private partnerships play in the industry’s consolidation.
The Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, took part in the meeting and highlighted the need for the countries to move ahead with the development of risk management tools, with emphasis on small and medium-sized producers.
“In light of the natural hazards that pose such a risk to the agricultural sector, preparedness is essential, not just action after a disaster has occurred. Within the broad framework of risk management, agricultural insurance can be a vital tool for coping with extreme weather events,” Ramdin observed.
David Hatch, IICA specialist in agricultural insurance, seconded Ramdin’s remarks and pointed out that over 80% of farms in the region were run by smallholders.
“To help this segment of the population improve the techniques it uses to adapt to climate change, it must be afforded access to agricultural insurance and adopt risk management practices effectively and collectively,” Hatch remarked.
He added that smallholders played a key role in food security and the impact of climate call for the development of tools to reduce their vulnerability. “Developing sustainable insurance programs in each country is imperative,” he emphasized.
IICA, in tandem with the public and private sectors, has been promoting the development of agricultural insurance in the Americas for more than 10 years.