MPs push for comprehensive agric insurance regime

Chairman of the Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee of Parliament, Kwame Asafo-Adjei, has supported calls for legislation to develop a comprehensive agricultural insurance regime that will guard farmers against risks and uncertainties associated with farming in the country.

“In the era of climate change and bush-fires, farms are threatened. There should be a legislation to support our farmers as is done in other countries where farming is the backbone of their economy.”

He further recommended the Agricultural Development Bank to set up a subsidiary that will be in charge of insurance to serve Ghanaian farmers.

He made the remarks after the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, delivered a statement on the floor of the House in support of parliamentary efforts concerning the development of an agricultural insurance regime in Ghana, which includes quality agricultural insurance indices that are in line with global trends.

Mr. Annoh-Dompreh reiterated the need to recognise the significance of agriculture’s influence on the country’s GDP, and to put in place holistic measures to promote and sustain agricultural activities – especially crop production and livestock rearing.

“Our investments in agriculture ought to be backed by a capable insurance regime that supports this growing industry.

“Our quest to increase participation in the agricultural industry can be achieved by strengthening the framework that provides investment-safety for agricultural activities which are facing increased risk capital loss in recent times,” he added.

He also indicated the need to educate farmers on insurance benefits to encourage their utilisation of the service.

The National Insurance Commission (NIC), with support from the Alliance for Green Revolution Africa (AGRA), has called for amendment of the Insurance Act 724 of 2006, which did not incorporate agricultural insurance at the national level.

Among other amendments, the reform is expected to strengthen legal frameworks and instil confidence in the insurance industry.

In his submission, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, noted that the call for agric insurance requires a holistic overhaul of the agriculture sector.

“Agriculture is a very risky business. During production, all sorts of risks are involved; especially for a rain-fed agricultural economy like ours without irrigation infrastructure.

We need to reduce the dependence on rain-fed agriculture and ensure that the land tenure system is well-addressed, because agriculture insurance is also like a property insurance; and if you do not have a proper land tenure system in which the property ownership is guaranteed, it becomes very difficult to insure such a piece of land and the production activity that is going to take place on it,” he added.

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