Insurance regulators and providers meet in Peru to seek solutions for smallholder farmers faced with natural disasters
November 6: The 11th Consultative Forum (11th CF) on “Scaling up insurance as a disaster resilience strategy for smallholder farmers in Latin America” will be taking place this afternoon in Lima, Peru with the objective of fostering sound policymaking for the development and scaling up of agricultural insurance across the region. The event will be live-streamed simultaneously in both English and Spanish at this link. The 11th CF, co-organised by the Microinsurance Network, the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii) and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), and takes place as a pre-conference session of the 13th International Microinsurance Conference (IMC) co-organised by the Munich Re Foundation and Microinsurance Network, and hosted by APESEG. The Forum is the last of three events focusing on this topic in 2017, building on the 9th Consultative Forum held in Singapore in March and the 10th Consultative Forum held in Uganda in May.
The 11th Consultative Forum will bring together over sixty high-ranking representatives from the insurance industry and regulatory and supervisory bodies to discuss strategies for scaling up agricultural insurance and the development of proportionate regulatory frameworks. Participants will explore how different stakeholders — from insurance supervisors and policymakers through to private sector service providers, researchers and donors — can cooperate and align their respective roles to achieve sustainability and scale while ensuring fair treatment of vulnerable segments of the population.
Agricultural production plays a key role in the economic development of Latin America, contributing to around 5.3% of the region’s GDP, compared to 1.6% in industrialised economies,* with 15 million family farms managing some 400 million hectares, of which 10 million hectares are cultivated by subsistence farmers.** These agricultural producers are particularly exposed to natural catastrophes, which vary widely in type, frequency and severity across the region and even within countries. Droughts, frost and floods continue to cause devastating agricultural losses and have a huge impact on vulnerable households.
“Many smallholder farmers in Latin America remain unprotected and vulnerable to hazards whose effects could be mitigated through suitable insurance products and risk management practices, to enable these families to build the resilience needed to weather shocks related to day-to-day production and natural disasters,” explained Katharine Pulvermacher, Executive Director of the Microinsurance Network, the international multi-stakeholder platform for inclusive insurance which promotes the development and delivery of effective insurance services for the underserved across the world.
“Index-based insurance holds much potential for making agricultural insurance more affordable and accessible to smallholder farmers, however it also brings with it new risks and requires considerable upfront infrastructure investment. To bring the learnings from the Forums organised earlier in the year in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to Latin America, the A2ii is delighted to again collaborate with the IAIS and Microinsurance Network to support public-private dialogue on this topic. Through the sharing of emerging supervisory approaches as well as the effectiveness of different business models, we hope to be able to support smallholder farmers in becoming more resilient,” said Hannah Grant, Head of the Secretariat at the Access to Insurance Initiative (A2ii), a global initiative working to support insurance supervisors and promote access to responsible, inclusive insurance.
“The majority of IAIS member countries are developing and emerging economies, many of which rely substantially on agriculture. Policymakers and supervisors from these jurisdictions recognise the potential of insurance to reduce the vulnerabilities faced by farmers. This Forum is thus a timely dialogue and the IAIS is very happy to be able to support it,” stated Jonathan Dixon, Secretary-General of the global insurance standard-setting body, IAIS”.
* Kulenkampff, Arend and Casanova Aizpun, Fernando. “Agricultural insurance in Latin America: taking roots.” Swiss Re. July 15, 2016.
** Berdegué, Julio A. and Fuentealba, Ricardo. “Latin America: The State of Smallholders in Agriculture.” IFAD. January 24-25, 2011.
(c) Photo credit: Neil Palmer (CIAT), Cañete basin, Peru
Download this press release in English, and in Spanish
Follow the event on the live streaming here, November 6, 1:30-6pm PET (7:30pm - 12:00am CEST)