First Weather Index Insurance Product Launched in Nepal for Apple Farmers of Jumla

Jumla, May 5, 2016 – For the first time in Nepal, apple farmers received insurance policies that will help protect their yield from adverse weather conditions. This transformative new product – Weather Index Insurance – was launched at a special event in Jumla by Professor Dr. Fattah Bahadur KC, Chairman of the Beema Samiti (Insurance Board). A Signing Ceremony between Sakchyam and Shikhar Insurance also took place here, officially launching the partnership.

Apple farming, like other crops, depends heavily on the amount of rainfall it receives and apple farmers in Jumla have been affected negatively by erratic rainfall in previous seasons. With the launch of the new insurance policy, once the local weather station provides data showing less than 60mm rain in the insured time period, the claim settlement will happen automatically, without farmers needing to approach the insurance company. The lesser the rainfall in this period, the higher is the settlement for the apple farmer.

The premium for the policy for the coverage of drought has been set at 2% after government subsidy. After technical teams of Sakchyam and Shikhar Insurance collected feedback from local farmers that hailstorms have also affected apple production in Jumla, Shikhar insurance also added an insurance policy for the coverage of hailstorm. For this additional product, farmers have to pay an additional 0.25% of the input cost. The two insurance products can be purchased together. With Sakchyam support, there are plans for the product’s reach to be expanded to 4 more apple growing districts with the distinct possibility of including other crops.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Dr. Fattah Bahadur KC, Chairman, Beema Samiti said, “I am pleased to be here today to launch this innovative new insurance product for the apple farming community of Jumla. With insurance, farmers can invest more in the production phase, which should let them tap into the true market potential of the product.”

Mr. Baljit Vohra, Team Leader, Sakchyam said, “It is a pleasure for us to be here to join the Beema Samiti and Shikhar Insurance in launching this product that we have all worked so hard to design. We are confident in Shikhar’s capacity to market and implement this crucial Weather Index Insurance product in Jumla and across Nepal.”

Similarly, Mr. Dip Prakash Panday, CEO, Shikhar Insurance said, “We are thankful for the support from Sakchyam as well as the Beema Samiti to expand our services and support apple farmers in Jumla. We have a clear strategy for marketing and high uptake of this product. This product has been well received and is sure to benefit Jumla’s apple farmers and beyond.”

Mr. Rabi Rayamajhi, Private Sector Advisor, DFID Nepal said, “DFID Nepal is pleased to extend its support through Sakchyam to benefit the apple farmers of Jumla through this new insurance product. I would like to thank both partner teams and wish them the best for the success of this product.”

Present at the event were Mr. Dip Prakash Panday, CEO, Shikhar Insurance; Mr. Rabi Rayamajhi, Private Sector Advisor, DFID Nepal; senior leadership of Sakchyam Access to Finance and Shikhar Insurance; representatives of the local government and members of the national and local media. Sakchyam is an access to finance programme funded by UKaid. It is being implemented for DFID Nepal by Louis Berger in partnership with international and local partner institutions.

To read the press release in Nepal, download here.