A four-member World Bank delegation is in Namibia to provide technical assistance on the country’s first-ever Agri-Index Insurance, which is being coordinated by the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa). The World Bank mission’s goal is to provide advice to the government and other stakeholders on the design and implementation of an index-based agriculture insurance program for small-scale farmers, particularly in rural and communal areas.
The World Bank’s technical assistance focuses on three areas, namely understanding the areas and cost of major disasters and public sector support to mitigate the impact of these disasters; identifying data and other infrastructure investment required to support an effective program; and understanding how to effectively work with the private sector, learning from past pilots in Namibia. The technical assistance from the World Bank is expected to propel the government’s legal, regulatory and policy actions towards strengthening the financial resilience of small-scale farmers in Namibia to disaster risk. Additionally, the team hosted by Namfisa is expected to enhance the knowledge and understanding of agriculture risk financing solutions among key stakeholders, thereby enabling them to make informed policy and investment decisions.
Namfisa CEO Kenneth Matomola explained: “The objective of Agri-index Insurance is to benefit small-scale farmers in Namibia to mitigate potential losses of agricultural produce due to increased effects of climate change, and to promote financial inclusion as well as help government reduce the financial burden borne”. He stressed that it will assist vulnerable small-scale and communal farmers to become resilient to the effects of climate change on crops and livestock by aiding the development of Agri-Index Insurance products and services that are easily accessible and affordable. Responding to a question as to the composition of the visiting delegation and what the Word Bank team is expected to achieve, head of delegation Ajai Nair, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, said: “My team includes Qhelile Ndlovu, Disaster Risk Finance Specialist; Andrea Stoppa, Agriculture Insurance Specialist; and Chris Hoveka, Country Engagement Coordinator. The team had productive engagements with a wide range of stakeholders over the past week, and we expect to provide useful recommendations to the Namibian government through Namfisa to help develop the national Agri-Index Insurance program.” Namfisa has to date identified relevant key stakeholders and continues to coordinate efforts in the development of the platform, where both private and public sector players come together to discuss and share ideas on the possible solutions for the development and custom design of Agri-Index Insurance products and services. The authority has been creating awareness of the envisaged Agri-Index Insurance and has advised the finance ministry and related key ministries on the role they can play in supporting and facilitating the drive towards national agriculture policy change and implementation.