For the purpose of presenting the Agricultural Insurance Project for all interested parties in Kosovo and setting up a platform for sectoral discussions in potential areas for joint activities, today in Pristina were gathered participants and representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Insurance companies, brokers, banks, MFIs, farmers and IFC. The aim of this roundtable was discussion and debate on research findings and standpoints towards the establishment of a better public-private partnership in order to have a sustainable and effective agricultural insurance program in Kosovo. Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, Mr. Memli Krasniqi has fully supported parties involved in this project, emphasizing that the Ministry he leads will provide subsidies for 50% of the premium amount that insures the agricultural products and crops, and such support will influence the development of this sector. While the CBK Deputy Governor, Mr. Fehmi Mehmeti stated that the agricultural sector is the main source of living worldwide, especially in developing countries and among rural communities and farmers. According to him, in Kosovo, the agricultural sector represents the most potential source for economic development. The share of this sector in gross domestic product is estimated from 13% to 15%, however the growth and development of this sector development still leaves much to be desired. This is also valued, considering the fact that Kosovo is one of the largest food importers in Europe.
Having sufficient supply of agricultural products, free access to the EU market and a relatively good climate, Kosovo's agricultural sector still remains the most attractive sector for employment growth, meeting domestic consumption needs and export of local products.
The main challenge for the agricultural sector in Kosovo today is access to finance and protection of agricultural yields. Lack of access to finance is a key obstacle for farmers in improving their products and adapting the best technologies to create competitive advantages. It is worth mentioning that in addition to financing and subsidizing this sector through various European Union projects and government grants, one of the main sources offered in the form of protection of investment from risks in agriculture is also the insurance sector, which is supervised by the CBK. While, as a challenge, he mentioned the fact that from the total gross written premiums portfolio, less than 1% of premiums consist of agricultural insurance products. Mr. Visar Perani, representative of IFC office in Kosovo and other officials involved in this project study have also discussed on the role of insurance in the field of agricultural products. It was stated by all speakers that the project's goal is increasing the access to finance for small and medium-sized agricultural producers and mitigation of the risks associated with the agriculture financing.