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Asia’s agriculture insurance market intensifies with backing by governments

  • Publish Date: Posted over 7 years ago

Governments in a number of countries across Asia are marketing agriculture insurance by developing index-based insurance solutions to safeguard the incomes of farmers as well as new technology to speed up claim settlements. The Indian government unveiled the Prime Minister's Crop Insurance scheme while in Indonesia the government owned PT Jasa Asuransi Indonesia started a farm insurance programme with an allocated budget of IDR150 billion (US$11.25 million) with a target coverage of 1 million hectares. In China, Swiss Re has begun the first parametric insurance project protecting Chinese farmers against risks of natural disaster in a reinsurance protection scheme encompassing the government of Heilongjiang Province and the Sunlight Agriculture Mutual Insurance Company of China. In the Philippines, plans are in place to bolster the capital of the government-run Philippine Crop Insurance Corp (PCIC), to allow it to offer index-based insurance coverage and allow it to engage in reinsurance. Arthur Yap, former agriculture secretary said that Philippine farmers suffer crop losses of PHP30 billion (US$631 million) every year but the PCIC, which operates the government's agricultural insurance programme, pays around PHP1.3 billion in claims. “That is why it’s so impossible for farmers to get out of poverty.”