JIS News

The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) is encouraging farmers to join the Excel Farmers Insurance Plus plan.
Thomas Mayne, Regional Manager of the JAS, told JIS News that the requirement of a minimum of 500 farmers who are needed to activate the scheme has been reduced to 300, as the farmers have been slow in joining the plan.
Mr. Mayne informed that, “just under 200 farmers from the JAS have paid up fully for the policy,” which is being carried by Life of Jamaica, through the brokerage firm of Excel Insurance Company. The plan has two schemes, the Health and Life Critical Illness, Dismemberment and Disability schemes. The health scheme covers doctor’s visit, surgery, ultra sound, and hospitalization, while the Life Critical Illness, Dismemberment and Disability scheme covers the farmer and his spouse for death from natural cause or accident, dismemberment by accident, and critical illness.
A similar scheme is operated by the Mavis Bank coffee factory in rural St. Andrew, and Mr. Mayne has informed that discussions are currently in progress with Senator Norman Grant, Manager of the coffee factory, to link the two entities and get the numbers up, so that “we can start to accommodate the farmers in relation to the insurance.”
He is optimistic that once the agreement is settled between the two groups, farmers will respond positively and purchase the plan.
The Regional Manager said the insurance plan was excellent for the farmers, “because the cost is reasonable and the benefits are tremendous.”
He said that interest is being shown by the farmers, but not many of them are coming on board.
“When you go out into the field and present the plan to them (farmers), the response is tremendous. They want to get involved but when you come down to the actual purchasing, that’s where we’re having some problems,” he noted, adding that because the plan has been slow in taking shape, some farmers were harbouring doubts.
Officers of the JAS and personnel from the insurance firm have been engaged in an islandwide effort to educate farmers about the plan.

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