Less than 1% of Colombian farmland is insured, less than any other Latin American country, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, El Espectador reported Friday.
While so many farmers remain uninsured against climate changes such as flooding or drought, federal funds allocated for agriculture insurance are not being used, according to the report.
“Of over 12 million acres of farmland in this country, only 45,000 are insured. In addition, the money the government provided for insurance is not being spent, because in 2009 there was about $13 million and only about $2.7 million were used. Last year we had $11 million and only $ million were used,” said the head of the National Agriculture Risk Assembly Ivan Dario Royade Agudelo.
Last year the funds the government spent went to support an initiative to bring insurance coverage for farmers in the tobacco industry. In 2008, 37% of land for tobacco farming was insured, which has greatly aided farmers in dealing with Colombia’s rainy season.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development hopes to replicate the crop insurance initiative which was successful in the tobacco industry in other sectors, such as the coffee and banana industries. The ministry’s goal is to bring insurance to 15% of farmland through such initiatives.