Mango growers in Myanmar searching for crop insurance

Unpredictable weather conditions and lack of available insurance products hamper fruit orchards’ profitability

Mango growers in Myanmar searching for crop insurance

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Weather changes have affected mango farmers in Myanmar, prompting them to turn to insurance to protect their livelihoods from weather-related crop losses.

Myanmar Mango Market and Technology Development Organisation secretary U Kyaw Soe Naing said the mango growers are in need of a scheme to offset losses caused by the unpredictable weather, resulting in price fluctuations.

“Last year, the mango orchards in Kyaukse and Singaing townships were hit by hailstones,” he told the Myanmar Times. “About MMK900 million (US$657,000) in crops yield was lost, according to media reports. They did not have any fruits, as the damage was extensive. This year, hailstones struck again for the second year, causing massive crop damage.”

The Sein Talone mango, one of the most commonly planted mango varieties in Myanmar, blossoms only once a year. However, due to this year’s cold season being unusually warm, in some areas there were two blossoms in the same year, said U Kyaw Soe Naing. While it may sound like a good thing, it’s actually not, as it resulted in lower quality of fruits and affected their exportability.

While crop insurance is already available in the country, it is usually not offered for fruit tree growers.

“I asked around several insurance companies about the schemes they have. They are only interested in short-term or annual crops like paddy (rice) and beans,” U Kyaw Soe Naing said.

Meanwhile, Global World Insurance general manager U Soe Win Thant said that the public and private sectors must cooperate with regards to crop insurance, which is too risky for the fledgling private insurance market to handle.

His company is currently exploring the creation of a weather-based insurance system in cooperation with a Japanese firm.

“We will do research on paddy first. After one or two years, we will continue with orchards and cash crops,” he said.

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