By Staff Writer
With Guyana and other CARICOM member states’ agriculture sectors being susceptible to the impacts of climate change, the Special Ministerial Taskforce (MTF) established by CARICOM last year and headed by Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, has been playing a leading role in advocating for appropriate products aimed at de-risking the industry. One of these products includes agriculture insurance.
Already, the MTF has received a presentation from a regional insurance company that has expressed its willingness to proceed with exploring the development of an agricultural insurance product for CARICOM Member states.
In a statement to the press this morning, the Ministry of Agriculture disclosed that the company is in the process of preparing country-specific proposals for consideration by Guyana and the other Member States.
The second quarter of 2022 is being targeted for the delivery outline for the proposed insurance product for CARICOM Member States.
On the heels of this imminent, groundbreaking initiative, Mustapha was keen to remind that Guyana is at the forefront of the effects of climate change. Now more than ever, he said, “We see the need to have some sort of risk transfer mechanism in place whereby when our farmers are faced with these perils, they can receive some compensation thus minimizing or eliminating, altogether, the need for governments to take monies from the coffers to give relief because farmers would be paying a premium. That in itself would be a game-changer for Guyana’s agriculture sector.”
As it relates to advances with implementing a dispute resolution mechanism which includes policies regarding the removal of trade barriers for CARICOM States, Minister Mustapha said that the MTF has made significant progress in this regard and that it will be further discussed during the upcoming Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) meeting which is scheduled for some time this year.