Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin



News from the Caribbean:


Back To Today's News

Agriculture in the Dominican Republic: Highly vulnerable, mostly uninsured
Published on April 27, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Agriculture employs a fifth of workers in the Caribbean and generates a significant income for the region. Many countries are highly vulnerable to natural disasters and defenceless against price swings. Nonetheless the industry remains, in the main, uninsured against major shocks.

These are the findings of a new World Bank report, ‘Agricultural Risk Management in the Caribbean’, which details the experiences and lessons learnt in the region between 2009 and 2012.

In the past 20 years, Caribbean countries have, each year, spent between 1 and 9% of their GDP dealing with the effects of weather hazards. In addition, changing preferences within the European market have contracted the region’s traditional exports - sugar, bananas, cocoa and rice.

As a consequence the agriculture sector has been stagnating as farmers and governments have to absorb the costs of weather hazards and price fluctuations. This, in turn, has lead to lower rural income levels, increased poverty, and reduced economic growth and competitiveness.

With the exception of the banana industry in the Eastern Caribbean and a public insurance company in the Dominican Republic, agricultural insurance against natural disasters is non-existent in the region.

According to the FAO, in eight Caribbean countries 90% of the farms have less than ten hectares and grow multiple crops. These small farms represent over half of the available agricultural land.

Therefore, making affordable insurance available to all those small-holders has proved highly problematic.

The World Bank has been working to overcome some of these limitations:

• In 2007, the Bank launched the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) to help countries fund early reconstruction following natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Covering the first few months after a disaster, claims are paid to participating governments based on the type of event rather than by assessing actual losses allowing for transparency and low-settlement costs.

• Following successes in Africa and Asia, the Bank has supported countries in beginning to implement market-based instruments, such as insurance and price-risk management, in the agricultural sector.

Small farmers, the most affected

Agricultural activity in the Dominican Republic is centered on two crops: sugar cane and rice. Representing 11% of GDP and nearly 15% of employment, it is particularly important for the country to reduce agriculture’s vulnerability to natural disasters.

Previously, natural disasters have taken a heavy toll on the country’s finances. Public expenditure during Tropical Storms Noel and Olga in 2007 was around 0.6% of GDP and reached 1.6% of GDP during 2004’s Hurricane Jeanne.

The most destructive storms hit in 1998 with Hurricane George and in 1979 with Tropical Storm Federico, resulting in economic losses equivalent to 16.1% and 18.4%of GDP respectively.

Experience shows that hurricanes, tropical storms, earthquakes, landslides, flooding and droughts mainly affect small farmers (fewer than 3.13 ha.), who make up 72% of total farmers, and account for 28% of agricultural land.

World Bank Support

The World Bank is supporting the Dominican government in improving their response to disasters, especially regarding helping small farmers. They are also working on designing a specific insurance to covering rainfall and hurricane risks in the agriculture industry.

A further goal is to increase productivity and reduce vulnerability of at least 2,300 small-scale farmers in the poorest areas of the Dominican Republic, incentivizing the purchase and use of new technology.
 
Reads: 2355





Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.

Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code





Disclaimer
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

2014 Mind Your Eye


Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: