Thailand’s state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) is looking to expand its crop insurance scheme to fruit and dairy farmers to meet rising demand for protection against natural disasters.
BAAC executive vice president Somkiat Kimawaha said that one of the crops the bank is looking to cover is durian, despite the fruit’s high price, a Bangkok Post report said. Somkiat added that farmers are now more open to taking out crop insurance, as shown by an increase in insured farmlands.
Thailand’s crop insurance programme is limited to rice and corn, while BAAC is currently piloting a scheme for dairy cattle and longan (a lychee-like fruit).
Around 1.9 million farmers took out insurance in the year ended June 30, covering 4.512 million hectares of agricultural land, up from 4.42 million hectares in the previous year. Premiums rose to THB2.58 billion (US$836 million) from THB2.48 billion (US$804 million).
The crop insurance scheme covers six natural disasters: flood, drought, storm, cold, hail, and fire. Farmers will receive a payout of THB7,875 per hectare for crops damaged by natural disasters. An additional payout of around THB4,000 is available for damage caused by pests or disease.