GraceKennedy Insurance (GKI) has launched its latest policy innovation – ‘GK Weather Protect’.
The announcement was made today (July 20) during a hybrid launch event hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, who collaborated with GKI to roll out the new parametric policy.
The policy offers wind, rain and drought insurance for Jamaican farmers and fishers, and is a timely response to the plight of many in the agricultural sector who have suffered multi-billion dollar loses over many years due to extreme weather conditions.
Speaking at the launch of GK Weather Protect, Senator Don Wehby, GraceKennedy Group CEO, indicated that he was encouraged by the scope of the public private partnership.
“GK Weather Protect is the latest in a series of initiatives we have under way across the GraceKennedy Group to support Jamaica’s agricultural sector. I have challenged my team at GraceKennedy and the wider private sector to set ourselves a target to cut our import bill in half by 2030. We need to create the policies, the environment and incentives to achieve this objective. This will require investing heavily in agriculture and agro-processing by ensuring our farmers have good crop insurance and technical training to mass produce certain crops. I firmly believe that a robust agriculture sector is key to Jamaica’s self-reliance and economic independence.”
Wehby went on to explain that disaster risk insurance for farmers and fishers was one way to mitigate the effects of severe weather events on Jamaica’s agriculture sector, particularly in the face of climate change.
“Insurance for our farmers is an investment, not a cost,” said Wehby.
In his remarks at the launch, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green emphasised how valuable the GK Weather Protect was in providing the coverage needed by those in the agricultural sector.
“We were able to roll out the coverage for agro industrial equipment, then we were able to secure life and health insurance for the farmers and fisher folk, so when I say it is a great day, I mean it because now the final piece has come into place where we are now able to provide coverage for the crop and livestock within the sector.”
He also pointed out that the new GKI policy has come at an ideal time with the hurricane season forecasted to be a very active one.
“I, along with many of the farmers and fishermen, can rest a little easier knowing that there is protection for the hard work and money pumped into providing food for our nation.”
GK Weather Protect is a parametric rain, drought and wind insurance policy developed for the Jamaican Agricultural Sector. Parametric policies offer pre-specified pay-outs to the insured when a specific set of conditions are met – in the case of GK Weather Protect, when an extreme weather event impacts Jamaica’s agriculture sector.