The Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool (GAIP) has rolled out a scheme that will make insurance for farmers easy to access, the General Manager of the company, Alhaji Ali Muhammad Kato, has said.
“We want to make GAIP a household name because farmers are the largest group in the country, so if farmers embrace it, it would be more common than any other insurance policy in the country,” he told the Daily Graphic after his presentation on Agricultural Financing and Insurance at the 68th Annual New Year School in Accra. It was organised by the School of Distance and Continuing Education of the University of Ghana, Legon.
Alhaji Kato, who gave the history of agricultural insurance in Ghana, indicated that since 2011, farmers in the northern parts of the country were introduced to the drought index insurance scheme, a weather-related insurance product of GAIP for smallholder farmers in the area.
GAIP also has multiple crop insurance policies for large-scale farmers and poultry farmers.
Also to be piloted is a cattle insurance for smallholder farmers.
According to Alhaji Kato, there was no dearth of skilled insurance experts and policies in the country.
“The future is bright for agricultural insurance, what we need now is for farmers to embrace it. That is why we are working towards that. Because we have financial institutions who have expressed interest to partner with us and whatever they lend to farmers would have an insurance component, so that in the bad years the farmers would be comfortable and the financial institutions would be comfortable,” he stated.
The Country Manager of the Agribusiness Systems International (ASI), Dr Betty Annan, said her outfit was a subsidiary of ACDI/VOCA, a non-profit consulting firm that aligns business with smallholder producers.
Speaking on the topic, ‘’Digital Finance: A promising trend in Financing Agricultural Value Chain’’, she outlined how mobile finance was being used to solve the challenge of financial exclusion among smallholder farmers in rural Ghana.
She said, in collaboration with Tigo Cash, ASI was rolling out a “small bio-money” platform, where farmers would supply their produce to agribusinesses and get paid via mobile money.
The manager added that two other innovative projects, rice mobile finance project (RiMFin) and oil palm producers were ongoing where payments of about GH¢4million had already been paid to farmers as of January 18, through convenient and secure electronic payment platforms.
The Managing Consultant of IESO Agribusiness Consult, Mr Francis Osei, called for policies to mitigate the risks associated with agriculture.
For his part, the Dean of the University of Ghana Business School, Prof. Joshua Abor, challenged the government to take a serious look at the regulatory and legal framework of agricultural financing in the country.
There was also a symposium on E-extension and Adoption in Agriculture. Speakers were unanimous in emphasising the fact that e-extension services were complementary to traditional extension efforts.
They also underscored how Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in agricultural services provision had made communication with farmers more interactive.