Small LatAm farmers under constant threat from disasters: FAO

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-18 10:03:42|Editor: Chengcheng
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SANTIAGO, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said Wednesday that small agricultural producers in Latin America and the Caribbean are constantly under threat from disasters.

In a report, the FAO outlined guidelines to offer insurances to farmers' families and underlined the vital role insurances play in the region's food structure.

"One severe drought, hurricane or flood could completely decimate their production and severely affect the food security of families and communities," it said.

The report stressed the importance of financial instruments and insurances to combat these ever-present risks, and to "reduce agricultural losses due to disasters."

With insurance tools, losses are transferred to larger companies or the state so that small producers are able to continue working.

According to the FAO, this is the first report they have published to deal with the protection of small producers.

Anna Ricoy, the FAO's disaster risk management coordinator for the region, said that private insurers are not interested in small family producers.

The state should therefore "adopt institutional and economic decisions that generate an adequate and commercially viable alternative," she said.

The FAO suggested that providing protection to small farmers would benefit the region's food chain.

"Not only will a sector of vulnerable producers be protected, but the resilience and sustainability of the agricultural system will be increased too," Ricoy added.

The report pointed out that in Brazil the state offers insurance to the most vulnerable producers through the "Proagro" program.

Similarly, in Mexico small farmers can receive insurance through organized "insurance funds" which are recognized by the state.