Cocoa and Nutmeg have been 2 of the most viable crop industries in Grenada. However, since Hurricane Ivan wreaked havoc on the hard labour of farmers in 2004, it has been difficult for them to get back to their known glory.
This known fact has prompted the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands to introduce a way in which, in the advent of any perils, respite can be given to farmers who may have suffered losses.
In this regard, a workshop facilitated by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) consultants, was held with stakeholders at the Grenada National Stadium recently, to discuss a draft proposal on Agriculture Risk Insurance for these farmers. The objective of the workshop was to gather data and information related to nutmeg and cocoa production which will give the assurance that farmers that are growing cocoa, nutmeg and other forest and tree crops have the means to re-establish plantation.
The ministry has taken a leading stance in ensuring that crop insurance becomes available to farmers and Chief Agriculture Officer, Daniel Lewis attested to that.
He said, “We need to provide that kind of support to the sector. Farmers need to have insurance to ensure that their livelihoods and everything else could be protected. So, should there be a hurricane, a storm, farmers could rest assured that they have something to piggyback on.”
“It is good for us,” he said, “Because it means that the agricultural sector could continue to be very buoyant and very efficient because we have food and nutrition security; livelihoods; foreign exchange generation through export.”
General Manager of the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA), Roderick St Clair said an initiative like this is very important to farmers. He said, “For the nutmeg farmers and of course our cocoa farmers, protection from the perils is very important after they would have worked hard and do their investments. What we need is affordable premiums, so the farmers can get up and running in no time.”
Full time farmer Keith Clouden, said it is a welcomed move and is ready and willing to make whatever contributions he needs to. He said, “Yes, the farmers would welcome this, and we are here to make our contribution. In the past we have depended to some extent on government to offset these kinds of losses through natural disasters, but we too as farmers are prepared to make direct contribution to resolving these issues in terms of payment towards the premium.”
It is the ministry’s hope that all concerned will ensure that it moves forward in developing a scheme to work in the best interest of the farmers.
Ministry of Agriculture