Minister Lowe disburses K2bn climate adaptation insurance payouts to farmers

The Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe on Thursday disbursed over a K2Billion to smallholder farmers who lost their crops due to the adverse effects of climate change in Balaka, Machinga and Zomba.

The recipient farmers insured their crops against natural disasters such as dry spell.

Speaking when he handed over the cheque at Mpando Full Primary school in Traditional Authority Amidu in Balaka, Lowe said it is sad that, despite work so hard in their fields, majority of the smallholder farmers in Malawi do not yield to last them a year.

He said crop insurance has therefore come as a relief to the farmers.

“Providing crop insurance services to farmers whose crops are vulnerable to climate change effects is vital as it acts as a risk transfer mechanism so that farmers do not shoulder the significant burden of yield losses arising from crop failure emanating from adverse effects of climate change,” said Lowe.

Lowe commended NICO General Insurance Company Limited for living up to the promises because previously people only associated insurance with vehicles.

“It is in the same vein that I extend Government’ s gratitude towards NICO General Insurance Company Limited, who are the underwriter for this insurance product across Malawi, and PULA International, who are the designers of the insurance products aiming at providing farmers with such a cushion to adverse effects of climate change to crop production,” he said.

At least 67, 276 individual farmers will benefit from the fund in Balaka, Machinga, and Zomba.

Lowe urged the farmers to plant more trees in order to restore the environment.

World Food Programme Country Representative Paul Turnbull said the payout will go a long way in ensuring food security.

Esnart Mmadi, a beneficiary of the scheme, said the money received will help her to buy important commodities at her home.

The Adaptive Project aims at enhancing climate adaptation and food security at households through access to climate risk management integrated strategies and structured market opportunities.

The project is aimed at strengthening awareness and ownership of adaptation and climate risk reduction process at community level, particularly among women and youth, to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The design is to implement local resilience and adaptation plans through community based planning processes; and to strengthen government capacities generate climate information and promote its disseminations and usage.

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