Farmers’ opinion sought for crop insurance policy

 Staff Reporter

MUSCAT

In a move to spread awareness among farmers about agriculture insurance, the Agricultural Policy Team is planning to hold introductory workshops across the Sultanate.

The workshops will explain the contents of vegetables and protective structures policy and the proposed underwriting mechanisms in a move to officially launch agricultural insurance products, market regulator CMA said in a statement.

A number of workshops will be held in the governorates next week commencing in Sohar. The meetings will include seeking the opinions of farmers about the insurance policy for agricultural products prior to commencing marketing and implementation of the agricultural insurance policy.

Further, the workshops aim to educate the farmers, individuals or institutions, on the concept and philosophy of agricultural insurance and to emphasise the provision of insurance coverage of the risks the agricultural and animal projects are exposed to.

On August 30, a committee including CMA executive president HE Abdullah Salim Al Salmi, Ministry of Agriculture Undersecretary HE Ahmed Naser Al Bakry and Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) chairman Saeed Saleh Al Kiyumi held a meeting to review the initial draft policy.

The meeting praised the efforts made by the team which studies the initiative, its economic feasibility and the outcome of the committee’s work such as preparing the initial draft of the policy.

The meeting emphasised the importance of acquainting the stakeholders with the policy and seeking their opinions. They also agreed to roll out the agricultural insurance policies in phases to evaluate the experience and address the challenges.

The first phase will focus on insurance of vegetables and protective structures and will be expanded to include fruits and other crops. The second phase includes the insurance of cattle and poultry and the third phase will cover beehives and palm trees.

The aims of the move is to provide insurance coverage to reduce the risks the farmers and exposed to for more progress and stability for the agricultural and animal sector to enhance its contribution to the GDP as well as food security and self- sufficiency.

The team was formed as a result of the recommendations of the seminar on agricultural insurance products held at the premises of CMA in the first half of 2016 with the participation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and Oman Chamber for Commerce and Industry.

The team is chaired by CMA and comprises representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, OCCI, Oman Reinsurance Company and representatives of insurance companies.

The team held so far four meetings the last was on January 4, 2017 in which the types of insurance coverage needed by agricultural activities in Oman was discusses in order to mitigate the impact of risks the agricultural activities are exposed to as well as knowing the challenges and obstacles facing insurance companies in providing products for the crops and agricultural activities, livestock and fisheries to ensure their ability to withstand the risks and continue productions.

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