By Nguyen Thanh Binh
Imagine you are a farmer living in the Mekong River Delta of Viet Nam where flooding and strong wind are your neighbors. Imagine from times to times when you sleep in your low-level house and your neighbors seep into the house and force you to suddenly leave.
Imagine your strong neighbors may sometimes wash your house completely and you have no place else to go.
To you, as the farmer whose single source of income comes from growing rice crops, rebuilding a new house and home is almost a dream.
Fortunately, you are not the farmers living in the Mekong River Delta of Viet Nam.
Unfortunately, there are many farmers living in an upstream province in this country, An Giang, who truly suffer from the extreme visits of their neighbors, called the natural disasters.
Mr. Trinh Hung Dung, a farmer in Chau Phu District, An Giang Province, shared his experiences that: “I previously enrolled in the traditional crop insurance pilot programme which was carried out by the government in 2011-2013. At that time, my crop suffered from insect pests. Then, I asked insurer’s staff to come and check out for the loss on my field, but they came too late. When they came, my crop was replanted.
“So, I did not receive any financial support,” said the farmer.
In Viet Nam, there are traditional agriculture insurance programme based on individual yield. However, it does not seem to be successful due to some inefficient and ineffective claim processes, a lack of technical support and technologies required for an effective implementation, as well as lack of farmers’ knowledge.
Experiences of crop insurance initiatives from many countries such as Kenya, Ghana and India show that crop insurance literacy for all key players especially small-scale farmers is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of affordable crop insurance.
In responding to consequences of the natural disasters that farmers in Al Giang usually face and to raise awareness on benefits of crop insurance, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in Al Giang with a support of Remote sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economies (RIICE) project organized a two-day “Training of Trainers” on basic crop insurance for 30 Agricultural Extension workers and technical staff of DARD, Farmer Union, Provincial Extension Center and Woman Union of Al Giang on 2-3 August 2018 in at Chau Phu District.
Mr. Dan also joined this pilot awareness campaign on crop insurance.
The training aimed for the local technical staff to gain a better understanding on crop insurance and become trainers to train farmers in Viet Nam while addressing the ‘Agriculture Insurance Decree Number 58 issued by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 18, 2018. Also, the local technical staff will be carrying out awareness campaigns on crop insurance for farmers in the future.
Similar activities for promotion of crop insurance literacy are also being supported by RIICE in Cambodia, with technical assistance from PEAPROS Consulting Company and NUPPUN Economic Research Institute. A new Training Manual together with a set of educational materials on crop insurance will be introduced and applied soon in the two countries.