GIS - 20 September, 2017: The ‘Crop Insurance Scheme’ will provide better assistance to planters who nowadays have to face unprecedented situations due to climate change. The scheme will first be implemented on a pilot basis before being extended to a larger number of planters, as well as to breeders.
The Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun, made this statement during the opening ceremony of a workshop on the Crop Insurance Scheme, this morning at La Cannelle, Domaine Les Pailles. The workshop, an initiative of the Small Farmers Welfare Fund in collaboration with the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security, aims at bringing stakeholders and consultants together to discuss the feasibility and implementation of the Crop Insurance Scheme in Mauritius.
Minister Seeruttun highlighted that such a scheme is important so as to provide better support and assistance to planters whose crops are destroyed by natural calamities. He recalled that in Budget 2016/2017, Government had earmarked Rs 10 million to set up a contributory insurance scheme for non-sugar crops planters. The Agricultural Calamities Solidarity Scheme (ACaSS), a national solidarity fund consolidated from grant received from the Government and contribution from farmers to provide financial support to small planters on crop losses caused by cyclones, drought or excessive rainfall, is already in place and provides assistance to the tune of Rs 5 000 per arpent, pointed out the Minister.
However, with planters having to face unprecedented situations due to climate change, there is a need for an improved crop insurance scheme, he emphasised. Mr Seeruttun stated that ACaSS will still be maintained until the new Crop Insurance Scheme is fully operational and all planters and breeders benefit from it. Furthermore, he reiterated Government’s aim in encouraging farmers to shift to organic agricultural production so as to reduce the use of chemicals.
Presentations on the Crop Insurance Scheme were made by the head of the General Insurance team of QED Actuaries and Consultants, Mr Lance Moroney, from South Africa. A discussion amongst the workshop’s participants is also scheduled before the validation of recommendations.
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