GENEVA – The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and its strategic partner and funder, the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) have provided respite for more than 175,000 smallerholder farmers in India amidst the coronavirus pandemic, having introduced an insurance scheme that guarantees a one-time payout to those affected by COVID-19.
Recognising that smallholder farmers, like Vaghela Sureshbhai Jesabhai, live from one harvest to the next, the BCI’s new insurance scheme alleviates concern that if a farmer were to fall ill, their families would not go without. “I am the only earning member in my family, and I have five family members who depend on my income,” explains Jesabhai. “Treatment of severe COVID-19 cases that need special medical care is expensive. Without insurance, having the virus would significantly affect my income and my family’s wellbeing – it would devastate me both mentally and financially.”