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‘Unreasonable' insurance plan ignored by farmers

Update: May, 18/2013 - 10:39

HA NOI (VNS)— Farming households have shown little interest in joining a pilot programme offering agricultural insurance since it started in seven provinces two years ago.

A total of 47,000 households have paid a total of VND66 billion (US$3.1 million) to join the insurance programme. Another 187,000 poor households have had their fees paid for by the Government.

At a recent workshop in Ha Noi, Deputy Agriculture Minister Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu blamed several clauses in the insurance policy for the low paid enrollments.

For example, she said some diseases, such as bacterial blight and common rice "blast", which often occurred in rice, were not covered. This was also true for haemorrhagic septicaemia and bovine fasciolosis (caused by liver flukes) in cattle and humans.

Head of the Ministry of Finance's Insurance Supervisory Authority Department Trinh Thanh, said agricultural insurance was still new to Viet Nam.

"However, both policy and mechanisms need to be amended if it is to be effectively implemented," he said.

Hoan said this included the policy of only paying compensation to households if the damage was verified as capable of reducing rice productivity in the entire commune.

Deputy Director of Nam Dinh Province's Agriculture and Rural Development Department Nguyen Phung Hoan said that many farming households nearly lost their crop after being hit by Son Tinh Storm last year in the province. However, they received no compensation from the insurance company.

"(These anomalies) are believed to be the reasons farming households are not interested in agricultural insurance," he said.

In response to the situation, Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Xuan Ha blamed the whole situation on a failure to collect proper statistics at the household level.

"This causes unreasonable regulation and difficulties in compensation," he said.

Viet Nam now has over 15.3 million farming households, according to the General Statistics Office. — VNS

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