The Council of Agriculture (COA), which last year launched a farm produce insurance programme for pear, mango and sugar-apple growers, has announced it is to expand the coverage to include rice this year and bananas next year.
Bureau of Agricultural Finance Director Hsu Wei-wen said that in September, rice is likely to be included, along with specific aquaculture products such as grouper, and six types of greenhouse facilities are to be added by the end of the year, reported the Central News Agency.
Bananas, the second most vulnerable cash crop, will have to wait until next year to be included in the government insurance programme, because relevant data is still being gathered, he said.
The Kaohsiung and Pingtung governments have asked the Council to provide insurance policies for all categories of aquaculture for damage from heavy rainfall and typhoons.
However, the Council would not be able to provide insurance for such farmers until next year at the earliest, Mr Hsu said.
Under the scheme, the government subsidises insurance premiums for farmers, who can receive compensation for losses caused by natural disasters. The compensation is higher for those who pay their premiums in full.
The output of Taiwan’s agricultural sector is about NT$500 billion (US$16.6 billion) per year, while losses caused by natural disasters average about NT$10.7 billion per year, Mr Hsu said, citing Council statistics from the past 10 years.