Recently the extreme winter season caused a sever cold front and made very serious agricultural losses in Taiwan. Scholars asked the government to protect agricultural production from the loss of natural damages by using the agricultural insurance system. Council of Agriculture (COA) responded to the request by launching the crop commercial natural disaster insurance starting from the trial for top-grafted pears in 2015. For those farmers who already purchased the agricultural insurance policy, if any of them got a “chilling” damage loss to their crops can claim their insurance compensation, in addition to the natural disaster relief from the government. It is like a dual protection mechanism. After this “chilling” damage experience, COA demonstrated that it would continue to promote agricultural insurance for better farmer protection against typhoons and heavy rains particularly for top-grafted pears.
According to “Guidelines for Subsidizing Natural Disaster Crop Insurance”, COA said that it subsidizes one-third of the insurance premium with a maximum allowance of NT$ 30,000 when farmer insured the top-grafted pears with the crop insurance policy. In addition, the local governments are also required to provide insurance premium subsidies in order to raise the farmers’ participation of willingness. To make sure that farmers fully understand the coverage of agricultural insurance, COA started seminars since February 19 to promote agricultural insurance specifically in the production areas of top-grafted pears, in order to protect more farmers from the potential damage during the coming typhoon season.
More importantly, COA already started to discuss the feasibility with FSC (Financial Supervisory Commission) Insurance Bureau regarding more crops, such as mango and rice, to be included in the agricultural insurance programs. In addition to crops, COA also assessed the fishery insurances to cover the risk of offshore fishing activities and vessels. Meanwhile, the aquaculture insurance has also been assessed regarding its re-insurance conditions, aquaculture environment, and aqua-farmers’ willingness of participation. COA plans to include the high economic value tilapia fish as a priority into the natural disaster agricultural insurance for a trial promotion. By doing so, it can help fishermen diversify the risks by using insurance mechanism in the current extreme weather environment.
Date submitted: Feb. 25, 2016
Reviewed, edited and uploaded: Feb. 26, 2016