Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) has launched the first-ever indexed and hybrid weather micro-insurance products to facilitate and compensate small farmers in Pakistan. Presided over by Commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Muhammad Asif Arif, a simple ceremony to this effect was arranged here on Tuesday.
Muhammad Asif Arif said that micro-insurance stood at a critical juncture in Pakistan, and commended PPAF for introducing revolutionary indexed crop and livestock insurance products in Pakistan. As regulator, he said, SECP had remained committed to promoting micro-insurance in the country through research, introducing pivotal regulations and promoting a healthy policy environment.
Member, PPAF Board of Directors, Zubyr Soomro said the need for micro-insurance had been felt over the years and it was the tipping point to upscale it, adding “we would have to make the most of this opportunity.” PPAF Chief Executive Qazi Azmat Isa said that micro-insurance initiative was the result of close collaboration between PPAF and IFAD.
He said farmers were badly affected by climate change, fluctuation in the prices of their produce and poor quality of agri in-puts, adding that micro-insurance would prove to be a vital instrument in fight against poverty. Kamran Bakshi, Senior Joint Director, Agricultural Credit & Microfinance Department, SBP, said that by launching indexed and hybrid weather micro-insurance PPAF had provided a unique platform to market leaders to serve the poor, particularly the farmers, adding that focus must be on protecting the borrowers.
PPAF’s Senior Group Head Ahmad Jamal said PPAF was committed to grassroots development and micro-insurance would prove to be one of the instruments to alleviate poverty. He said PPAF would capitalise on its outreach so that maximum people could benefit from micro-insurance.
PPAF’s Financial Services Group Head Yasir Ashfaq highlighted that those products would lead the new era for micro-insurance in Pakistan. He said indexed insurance products were easy to administer, transparent, innovative and significantly reduce any chances of moral hazard or fraud.
He said PPAF envisions scaling up those products at a national level, preparing detailed indices for various districts with the support of stakeholders including Government agencies, donors, MFIs and insurance companies. The ceremony was attended by representatives of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the World Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development, KfW-German Development Bank, UKAID, Tameer Microfinance Bank, National Disaster Management Authority, Pakistan Microfinance Network, government bodies, insurance companies and others.-PR