Expand crop insurance for farmers

Perspectives

Climate change is a serious threat to agriculture and food security. Extreme weather conditions and changing patterns of precipitation can lead to a decrease in crop productivity.
Some areas of upper Myanmar and Shan State were hit by rain and hailstones recently caused by cloud banks triggered by Western Disturbances.
It is painful to see photographs of onion farms in Sagaing Region submerged by flash floods and crops destroyed by hailstones in Shan State.
Untimely rain poured down from the evening of 1st January to 5th January, flooding onion farms in Pauk Township, Magway Region.
It costs around K1.5 million to grow onion on one acre of land, and local farmers simply cannot afford to grow onions after the water recedes. The farmers are facing a big loss of income. It is the same elsewhere in other disaster-hit parts of the world.
But, for Myanmar farmers who are not familiar with crop insurance, it would be difficult to recover losses.
The agriculture sector in Myanmar, which is an agro-based country, is frequently affected by natural disasters such as droughts, excessive rainfall, floods, flash floods, etc. The Meteorology and Hydrology Department can issue weather warnings, but disasters simply cannot be prevented.
Agriculture or crop insurance based on a risk management strategy is an important method by which farmers can stabilize their income and investment against the disastrous effect of losses from natural hazards or low market price of crops.
Crop insurance helps farmers in developing and under-developed countries initiate production activities after a bad agricultural period.
We should have started agriculture or crop insurance system earlier for better output from the agricultural sector.
Now, we’re in a pattern of increasingly frequent and severe weather. A once-in-a-century event seemingly occurs every year. The extreme is the new norm. There’s no argument here. People in the 21st century are facing harsh impacts from climate change. Therefore, we need to find ways or implement systems to bring relief from disasters.

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