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Low Premium Insurance For Aquaculture

INDIA - The National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) is working out modalities with insurance companies to introduce an insurance cover for fish and shrimp stocks at a lower premium on the lines of agriculture and livestock insurance.

According to Business Standard, the insurance premium for aquaculture is between 4.5 per cent and 7.5 per cent of the sum insured. Also, the present insurance schemes cover only inland fisheries and not brackish water culture. However, it is only 2.5 per cent for agriculture farmers. The small and marginal agricultural farmers get a ten per cent subsidy on premium, which is equally shared between the Centre and respective states.

“It is important to fix premium rates for the aquaculture sector on a par with agriculture to encourage farmers to enhance fish production,” said P Krishnaiah, chief executive officer of the NFDB.

NFDB recently convened a meeting with about dozen insurers in this regard. A committee will be formed to take this issue forward. The shrimp and fish cultivators have been demanding lower premium on insurance for long.

Speaking to Business Standard, he said aquaculture suffered serious setbacks due to persistent disease outbreaks, high input costs of power, feed and chemicals and low price realisation in the recent years. These factors made farming operations uneconomical and about 50 per cent of the area developed for coastal aquaculture has been abandoned resulting in a loss of livelihood to about two million people over the years.

The insurance companies widely supported the aquaculture sector in its boom time in the mid 90s. However, with uncontrollable disease outbreaks in aqua farms and lack of knowledge on incidence and control mechanism of the disease, they have stopped promoting aquaculture insurance services. The risks are often considered higher than other segments and therefore the premium is high, he said.

the Fish Site Editor

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