|A farmer tries to cut his rice, which is submerged by flood. High fees make it difficult for farmers like him to access agricultural insurance. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
HA NOI — Farmers have remained indifferent to agricultural insurance due to high fees, according to Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Department of Co-operative and Rural Development Tang Minh Loc.
He said that pilot programme progress was also slow.
After nine months, agricultural insurance contracts were successfully signed in only two provinces out of 20 throughout the country, including Nghe An and Dong Thap.
In these two provinces, agricultural insurance reached 23,000 households, of which nearly 90 per cent were poor.
The pilot programme currently drew participation from mainly poor households who received 80 and 100 per cent Government support towards insurance costs, he added.
It remained unattractive amongst the rest, even with 60 per cent cost support, according to Vu Thai Ninh, from the northern Bac Ninh Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Some must pay VND120,000 (US$6) for a pig or VND720,000 ($36) for a flock of more than 100 egg-laying hens.
"The fees are too high. Most hesitate to purchase insurance for their livestock and poultry," Ninh said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director of Bao Viet Insurance Nguyen Quang Phi said current agricultural insurance fees were preferential when compared to other neighbouring countries such as China, Thailand and the Philippines.
The fees were set up based on the levels of risk associated with natural calamities or disease faced in agricultural production.
Hung said insurance companies would consider lowering fees next year, based on 2012 revenue surplus from agricultural insurance.
According to the Head of Thai Binh Province's Nguyen Xa Commune Co-operative Nguyen Phi Hung some insurance regulations did not correspond with the situation in different localities.
The province's three districts of Vu Thu, Thai Thuy and Tien Hai were chosen to pilot insurance on rice cultivation.
Hung pointed out that current insurance regulations covered diseases that rarely attacked rice grown in the district with damage done by rats overlooked.
According to Loc, a third survey on the implementation of the programme would be conducted within this month to ensure effectiveness.
The three-year pilot programme has been implemented since July with an expectation to increase the feasibility of large-scale application of agricultural insurance in Viet Nam to benefit farmers. — VNS