PARM was invited to contribute in a keynote presentation on "Mitigating farm risk in Africa: what role can policy play" in occasion of the FARMAF Policy workshop held in Lusaka, Zambia.

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The two-day event with the theme “Creating/maintaining an enabling policy environment for farm risk management systems in Africa” was held in Lusaka, Zambia on 14-15 April 2015 and brought together representatives from governments, regional economic communities, farmers organizations, insurance companies, microfinance, commodity exchanges, research centres, and private sector.

The mission was also an occasion to explore future collaboration with the Government of Zambia and strengthening synergies with COMESA as regional economic community institution and learn from other on-going agricultural risk management activities and programmes.

Workshop Objectives

The main objective was to help develop a framework for strategic policy actions to support the development of sustainable farm risk management systems which are accessible to smallholder farmers. The Farm Risk Management for Africa /La Gestion du Risque Agricole en Afrique (FARMAF) Project is jointly funded by the European Union (EU) and AGRINATURA-EEIG (a consortium of European agricultural research and education institutions). It is currently being implemented in three African countries, namely: Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Zambia.

The objective of the project is to improve household food security and livelihoods of the rural poor by enhancing access to and use of effective farm risk management tools. It is intended to promote and facilitate access to agricultural insurance products as well as to more efficient marketing systems, including those that are developed around warehouse receipt systems (WRS) and collective marketing.

The main implementing partners are AGRINATURA-EEIG, the Pan-African Farmers’ Organisation (PAFO), Confédération Paysanne du Faso (CPF) of Burkina Faso, Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA) of Tanzania, Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU), East African Farmers’ Federation (EAFF), Plateforme sous-Régionale des Organisations Paysannes d’Afrique Centrale (PROPAC), Réseau des Organisations Paysannes et Professionnelles Agricoles (ROPPA) and Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU).

PARM keynote presentation focused on three main messages:

“ARM markets are thin in many African countries: policies can strengthen them by promoting good information systems, regulatory frameworks and competition”

“Insurance is unlikely to reach all smallholders and ARM systems have to empower farmers to manage risks with a diversity of tools”

“Without well-defined responsibility, any risk is a disaster: (P)ARM policy dialogue should conduce to defining layers of responsibility on agricultural risks”