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Taiwan to expand disaster insurance to include bananas

Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture (COA) has announced plans to expand its disaster insurance programme for the agricultural sector to include rice and bananas, suggesting a need for greater reinsurance capacity and the potential for the capital markets to play a role in the future.

The COA introduced a disaster insurance scheme for farmers that grow pears, mangos, and sugar-apples in 2016. So far, the programme has rolled out 164 insurance policies to pear farmers, 92 insurance policies to sugar-apple farmers, and six insurance policies to mango farmers, according to Hsu Wei-wen, Bureau of Agriculture Finance Director.

Now, the COA has announced plans to expand the scheme to include rice by September 2017, and bananas at some point in 2018. Alongside the inclusion of rice, reports cite the scheme will also include certain aquaculture solutions as a grouper, and six types of greenhouse facilities will be included by the end of 2017.

As the scheme expands to include more crops and reaches a greater volume of farmers it will require greater reinsurance capacity to support its members and to ensure efficient and affordable risk transfer.

According to Hsu Wei-wen, the output of Taiwan’s agricultural sector is roughly US$16.61 billion (NT$500 billion) a year, while natural disaster losses amount to roughly US$360 million (NT$10.7 billion).

Publication date: 6/9/2017


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