Natural disaster relief: A step to make life friendlier for rice farmers in Southeast Asia

Natural disasters are unavoidable in several parts of Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries, but with a recipe of local wisdom and new technologies and an additive of crop insurance, farmers will get recovered more quickly from loss for the next planting season.

Speaking during a seminar entitled: Risk Management of Rice Farming to Support National Food Security in Medan, Indonesia on 3 December 2018, Mr. Ageng Setiawan Herianto, representative assistant at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said Mina Padi system, an integrated rice field, where fish are grown concurrently with rice could be one among solutions for farmers to overcome the harvest failure.

“By applying Mina Padi system, farmers can cover their losses by harvesting fish,” he told a seminar.

While Mr. Hasil Sembiring, chief of the International Rice Research Institution (IRRI) based in Indonesia said adopting the good agricultural practices such as effective nutrient management, early pest, and disease diagnosis and varietal selection could help farmers avoid failed harvests.

Under the crop insurance scheme, farmers will have enough money to buy seeds, fertilizers and other farming inputs for replantation.

Ms. Ika Dwina Sofa, chief of Agri and Micro Insurance Division at PT Asuransi Jasa Indonesia (Jasindo), a state-owned insurance company, however, has raised concern that many farmers are not yet aware of the benefits of crop insurance.

To promote crop insurance among Indonesian farmers, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between PT Asuransi Jasa Indonesia (Jasindo) and German International Cooperation (GIZ) Indonesia has been signed to develop information database on crop insurance and campaign materials such as posters, modules, and short videos.

Through this MoU, a bundled package of social security benefits, which consists of crop insurance, microcredit, labor insurance, and healthcare coverage will be offered to farmers, whose crops are damaged by natural disasters.

This scheme will also help support struggling farmers to get soft loans from financial institutions and banks.

The seminar was organized by the Remote sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging economies (RIICE) project in cooperation with Medan’s Agricultural Development Polytechnic.

The seminar gathered representatives from related institutions, universities, financial institutions, banks, and private sectors.

Mr. Abdurrahman Nasution from Department of Agriculture of Simalungun district shares experience and lessons learned he has heard from participating farmers in the field during a seminar entitled: Risk Management of Rice Farming to Support National Food Security in Medan, Indonesia on 3 December 2018. (Photo credit: GIZ Indonesia)
Participants from various institutions attend a seminar “Risk Management of Rice Farming to Support National Food Security” in Medan, Indonesia on 3 December 2018 to support the national food security. (Photo credit: GIZ Indonesia)
Participants get information from booth of PT Asuransi Jasa Indonesia (Jasindo) that has been appointed by the government to execute the crop insurance program during a seminar and expo entitled: Risk Management of Rice Farming to Support National Food Security in Medan, Indonesia on 3 December 2018. (Photo credit: GIZ Indonesia)

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