Taiwan to expand cash crop insurance scheme

More crops, aquaculture products, and greenhouse equipment to be added to the scheme in 2017 and 2018

Taiwan to expand cash crop insurance scheme

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The Council of Agriculture (COA) of Taiwan is looking to expand its crop insurance program, which initially included pear, mango, and sugar apple farmers, to incorporate rice farmers this year and banana growers next year.

According to Hsu Wei-wen, director of the Bureau of Agricultural Finance under the COA, a total of 164 insurance policies have been issued to pear growers, covering a total of 139 hectares, while mango growers have availed a total of six policies, covering 9.91 hectares. Sugar apple, which is the most vulnerable crop on the list, is covered by 92 insurance policies for 51 hectares.

Rice will be included in the scheme by September, while several aquaculture products such as grouper and six types of greenhouse facilities will be covered by year-end, reports the China Times. Hsu added that bananas, which are the second most-vulnerable cash crop, may not be covered until next year, as the bureau is still gathering relevant data.

Local officials in southern regions of Kaohsiung and Pingtung have requested insurance cover for all aquaculture produce due to the damage caused by typhoons and torrential rains.  However, Hsu said that it may take until next year for the COA to put the necessary mechanisms in place.

Under Taiwan’s agricultural insurance scheme, the government subsidises insurance premiums for eligible farmers. If farmers can pay the premiums in full, then they can receive higher compensation with their claims.

Hsu cited government statistics showing that in the past 10 years, the average annual output of Taiwan’s agricultural sector was at NTD500 billion (US$16.60 billion), while losses caused by natural disasters were at NTD10.7 billion (US$355.73 million) per year.

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