News eDaily03 May 2017

China:Pilot zones to test disaster insurance in agriculture

03 May 2017

The Chinese Cabinet, the State Council, has decided to push forward the launch of pilot zones to improve the overall disaster insurance in agriculture.

The decision was made at the State Council's executive meeting on 26 April, reported China Daily.

The goal is to expand insurance in the agricultural sector to boost supply-side reform in agriculture and increase farmers' incomes.

According to a statement after the meeting, disaster insurance will be provided in 13 major grain-producing provinces, with insurance covering material costs and land rental impacted by disaster. Meanwhile, the government will also increase the subsidy for insurance premium payments in the pilot counties.

Zheng Fengtian, professor of agriculture and rural development at Renmin University of China, said: "Previously, when a region's farming land was hit by natural disasters, farmers largely depended on government subsidies to compensate their loss."

"Now, as 13 pilot regions will be covered by the government-backed insurance, this means financial subsidies for farmers in case of disasters will be more systematic, and the amount of insurance payouts will be evaluated in a more professional way."

Major grain producing areas, such as Anhui and Hubei provinces, have been vulnerable to flooding, storms, drought and other extreme weather events. Heavy rains triggered floods in central and southern China in 2016, washing away homes, causing landslides and flooding farmland, and caused losses estimated to be US$20 billion.


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