Risk Management in Agriculture Should Focus on Everyday Situations

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Climate change demands that agricultural risk management focus on everyday events, rather than exclusively on extreme events.

This was the opinion of specialists participating in a technical forum organized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

With the knowledge that agriculture suffers from inadequate risk management, it was concluded that unusual events were not the only ones that produced severe impacts.

The forum called for improved risk management under normal circumstances, as well as understanding of the fact that risk reduction depends on a wide range of developmental practices, ranging from territorial and environmental management, to focus on poverty and governance.

The Vice Minister of Agriculture of Costa Rica, Tania Lopez, says the consequences of climate change take us by surprise and set us back. This is why risk management is important.

The experts agreed that risk management should not seek to mitigate impacts, but rather focus on preventive measures.

Roberto Flores, from the Ministry of Agriculture in Costa Rica, added that in this preventive process, systematization of information on the impact of extreme natural events was vital, as it provided an assessment of the damage caused and the measures to be taken to deal with it.

Studies carried out in Costa Rica revealed that in 20 years, economic losses due to natural disasters amounted to USD1.823 million, and that the agriculture sector was the second most severely affected.

This type of information is of tremendous use to banks, insurers, public institutions and risk assessors.

© 2012 SAT Telecommunications Ltd.

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