Photo: PAHO. Climate change can affect vegetation, and also have effects on human health.

An insurance scheme being facilitated by the Department of Environment (DoE) will be making funds available to farmers who have encountered major losses over the years due to natural disasters and other unplanned events.

Through the insurance scheme crop, poultry, livestock farmers and others will be able to access millions of dollars in compensation.

“We are looking at opportunities for our farmers and one of the things we have been looking at is how we can help farmers to recover their losses in the event of a storm or any disaster, even drought. So, what we have existing in the Caribbean, for example, I think there is something where if anything happens, the country itself, Antigua itself, can claim within 48 hours,” said DoE official Craig Cole in an interview with the Antigua Observer,

“So, we are looking at different ways of helping farmers at minimal cost to them so that they can be covered in the event that they have these issues happening, they can be provided with some funding so that in the event they lose crops, they file a claim and this will be checked of course by the Ministry of Agriculture. The mechanisms have to be put in place,” Cole explained.

He said local farmers have suffered for years and the department will be doing what it can to ensure assistance is forthcoming – adding that the DoE is targeting around US$5 million for the funding.

Over the next two years, the DoE expects to develop 40 new projects for Antigua and Barbuda in order to access millions of dollars that have been pledged, by the world’s major greenhouse gas polluters, to the Global Environment Facility.