Crop insurance in risk prone regions

Traditional farming of major crops could flourish further if millions of farmers could be introduced to agriculture insurance policies to protect them from loss of crops from natural calamities or unfavorable weather. Experts say that agricultural insurance protects against loss of crops or livestock. It has great potential to provide value to low-income farmers and their communities, both by protecting farmers when disasters occur.

In the proposed 2019-20 fiscal budget the government would announce the launch of crop insurance policy, initially as a pilot project. Earlier Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also echoed the necessity of agricultural insurance. She said, “The impact of climate change is becoming visible in Bangladesh. Those who live in at-risk prone areas will be safe if they are covered under special insurance schemes.”

About 80 percent of the population in the country are engaged in agriculture. Farmers are the key to the prosperity of the country. K M Iftekhar Hossain of Charted Insurance Institute (CII) fellow said, “In cultivation, farmers use pesticides hybrid seeds, fertilizers, and irrigation. The beneficiaries of this hard-earned crop of the farmer are the middlemen or the uneducated businessman.”

“Insurance will ease these problems, but the government has to monitor closely. Every year, many natural disasters occur in the country which caused severe damage to agricultural production and farmers,” he added. “Various studies are underway for further development of agriculture,” said Agriculture Minister Md Abdur Razzak.

He said, "The government is working to ensure the fair value of farmers' crops, including rice.” “Fertilizer prices have been reduced for higher yields at lower costs. A farmer no longer has to only depend on hands. Modern machines will help in the process,” the minister added.

Agronomist Sohel Sarwar said, “Agriculture and grain insurance is an economic security system for the producers of agricultural products and the dependents of agriculture.” Various countries around the world have access to grain insurance services, which provide the farmers and farmers with the necessary help and assistance to provide economic security, he added.