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Business News of Tuesday, 19 June 2018


Farmers receive insurance payment for 2017 losses

Six hundred farmers at Agogo in the Ashanti Region and parts of northern Ghana, who suffered natural disasters in the 2017 farming season, have received an insurance of GH¢640,052.69 from the Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool (GAIP). The GAIP, a private insurance company, yesterday presented a cheque for the amount being insurance claims, to a Kumasi-based private company, Premium Foods Ltd, on behalf of the farmers at a ceremony in Accra.

While beneficiary farmers in northern Ghana received GH¢441,412.69, those at the Scan Farms at Agogo in the Ashanti Region, received GH¢198,640.

The beneficiary farmers who lost their crops either to fall army worms, drought, fire or windstorms last year, were covered by the agricultural insurance policy, which provides protection for agricultural loans in the event of any natural disaster or losses occasioned by natural causes.

The Premium Foods Ltd supported the farmers with the preparation of their farmlands, supply of improved seeds, fertiliser and market accessibility.

The claims Briefing journalists before the presentation, the General Manager of the GAIP, Alhaji Ali Muhammad Katu, explained that the Premium Foods Ltd claimed the money because the farmers it insured last year suffered such natural disasters.

He said the farmers, who were smallholders, had a shortfall in their yields as expected and, therefore, had the right to claim the losses they had incurred.

Alhaji Katu expressed the view that it was time for the government to consider insuring farmers as a form of a subsidy, to reduce the risks in farming.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Marketing Manager of the GAIP, Mr Jerry Quartson, said in all, GAIP paid GH¢3,650,214 as claims to farmers who suffered various forms of losses as a result of natural disasters last year.

He added that the GAIP insured a total of 18,650 acres of land, out of which 1,847 acres were devastated by natural disasters, which attracted the claim of the over GH¢3.6 million.

Mr Quartson noted that Premium Foods Ltd alone claimed GH¢2,120,768 out of the total amount paid.

Premium foods Receiving the dummy cheque, the General Manager of Premium Foods Ltd, Madam Gladys Simpson, stated that her company insured 338 hectares of land, out of which 112 hectares were destroyed by natural disasters.

She acknowledged that insurance in the agricultural sector was an expensive venture and expressed gratitude to the GAIP, explaining that the insurance had cushioned losses the company would have incurred if the farms had not been insured.

Madam Simpson explained that because of the risks associated with insurance in the agricultural sector, her company scaled down its nucleus farm groups from 25 to five, but was confident that with the introduction of the GAIP to the company, “we will scale up again”.