Interest in rainfall, cyclone cover increases amongst Fiji farmers

Nature's Way is expecting more members to sign up for rain and cyclone insurance in 2023

Interest in rainfall, cyclone cover increases amongst Fiji farmers

Catastrophe & Flood

By Kenneth Araullo

Fiji cooperative Nature’s Way said that they are expecting more of its farmer and exporter members to sign up for parametric insurance covering rainfall and cyclones in 2023.

Maria Biaukula, project field officer for Nature’s Way, said that 31 of its members had signed up for the insurance plan in 2022. The cooperative expects that number to grow significantly this year owing to its plans to expand its outreach. A total of 535 payouts were recorded by FijiCare, one of the insurers processing coverage for the farmers.

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) developed this microinsurance plan delivered through FijiCare, Tower Insurance, and Sun Insurance. It is funded by the governments of New Zealand, Australia, and Luxembourg, with the Fiji component receiving specific support from the India-UN Development Partnership Fund which is administered by the UN Office for South-South Cooperation.

Members “were very sceptical at first”

Talking to the Fiji Times, Biaukula said that educating members on parametric insurance coverage for rainfall and cyclones took place mostly on forums last year. 2023 is different, as she has been meeting with individual cooperatives, most recently doing three trainings in the Nadi area.

“They were very sceptical at first, but now since they heard about the first pay-out coming out, they were more interested in us coming down in person again to the exporters farmhouse and to do a bit of training,” she said.

Nature’s Way manager Donald Pickering also said that the policy is a very good concept, and hopes that it will be the “foundation for crop insurance for Fiji and the Pacific.”

Recently, Howden also partnered with the UNCDF to build climate resilience in Fiji with the announcement of parametric insurance products.

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