• DA starts weather index-based insurance scheme

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    The Department of Agriculture has started developing a detailed method of geographic insurance to identify specific roles and responsibilities of government agencies to implement the project.

    The development of Geographic Insurance Units (GIU) aims to identify bases in farm groupings according to land limitation and climate hazards caused by drought and excessive rainfall, said Silvino Tejada, DA-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) director.

    Each farm can be valued or assessed of its potentials and limitations through mapping schemes provided by the BSWM through the GIU.

    It will also serve as convergence point to harmonize all efforts in climate change adaptation based on the groups of similar farms and farmers.

    At present, the DA-Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. is in charge of identifying the farmers to be covered by state-funded insurance.

    The orientation workshop on the development of GIU for weather index-based crop insurance (WIBCI) application aims to help farmers and fisher folks by providing farms and farmer vulnerable to natural calamities and disasters with an insurance package.

    Under the program, farmers will be given site specific and appropriate intervention in terms of training and extension services and production inputs such as drought and flood tolerant seeds to enhance crop production.

    Activities related to project implementation will focus on site-specific soil characterization in relation to drainage, texture, and slope. Environmental factors such as elevation, occurrence of pests and diseases will also be considered. Risks related to salt, drought, and flood would be identified.

    At least P3.9 million will be allotted to the six-month project implementation in Peñablanca and Tuguegarao, pilot sites of the program. The tie-up project between BSWM and PCIC that will embark on its first cropping season is expected to benefit at least 180 farmer beneficiaries.

    “Climate change somehow gave us the opportunity to innovate and come up with science based measures to adapt to climate change over the long term,” Tejada emphasized.

    PCIC Insurance Specialist Glaicel Alvarez noted there were 150 farmer beneficiaries of the Weather Index-Based Crop insurance for the past three cropping seasons in May 2011 to December 2015.

    Reports show that rice farmers in Region II have approved claims amounting to P202,500 and corn farmers have P378,773.50.

    PCIC provides agriculture producers, particularly subsistence farmers, with insurance against loss of crops and non-crop assets on account of natural calamities such as typhoons, floods, droughts, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, plant pests and diseases, and other perils.

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