Jomsom, April 29, 2018 – With support from UKaid Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme, Shikhar Insurance Company Limited has launched its Weather Index Insurance (WII) Product in Jomsom, Mustang. The product was launched amidst an interaction held with apple farmers during the formal opening of Shikhar’s Sakchyam-supported Branch in Jomsom which was inaugurated by Mr. Chiranjibi Chapagain, Chairman of the Beema Samiti (Insurance Board). Also present at the event were senior representatives from Shikhar Insurance and Sakchyam, representatives of the local government and members of the national and local media.
As part of the WII product, Shikhar will compensate farmers on the basis of data provided by weather station in Marpha. The farmers will receive automatic claim payment if rainfall between April and May is 40 mm or less. The lesser the rainfall in this period, the higher is the settlement for the apple farmer. The insurance product also covers the risk of hailstorm. After deducting the government subsidy, farmer has to pay 2% premium for weather index and 0.25% for the coverage of hailstorm. During the opening of the branch, it was announced that upto 600 apple trees in Mustang have been insured already.
Weather related risks has increased the vulnerability of smallholder farmers and has negatively impacted their livelihoods. In this scenario, realizing that WII can present significant economic efficiency by allowing farmers to put more resources on agriculture, Sakchyam collaborated with Shikhar to introduce WII to apple farmers of Jumla for the first time in Nepal back in 2016. Besides Jumla and Mustang, Shikhar has already opened three other Sakchyam-supported branches in Mugu, Kalikot and Dolpa to expand WII. As of April 2018, Shikhar has issued more than 1,500 WII policies to apple farmers insuring more than 41,397 apple trees worth NPR 89 million.