TAD NewsDesk, Chennai: The Chennai-based Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) is very soon going to launch crop insurance for vulnerable shrimp farmers. These shrimp farmers are highly valuable to loses and hence in need of protection in the form of insurance.
A meeting was held at CIBA which aimed at developing a pragmatic crop insurance product for shrimp aquaculture.
Officials from the following institutions attended the meeting.
- Leading insurance companies
- Farmer representatives
- Other stakeholders
KK Vijayan, Director, CIBA says that the shrimp farming industry in India has transformed from a traditional fishing system to a capital oriented semi-intensive system.
Availability of large areas of suitable coastal land has led to phenomenal growth of this industry. Official statistics show shrimp farming accounts for about 70 per cent of Indian seafood exports revenue to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore.
Mr Vijayan added that,
“However, it is an investment intensive and risk laden farming activity mainly due to viral disease outbreaks and crop losses. After white spot disease caused extensive damage globally in 1994 and the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) declared crop holiday in 1995, there hasn’t been any insurance cover for shrimp farmers, although the industry has evolved greatly with sustainable practices.”
He also argued that,
“Adoption of better management practices, bio-security measures including aquatic health management and use of Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) shrimp seeds, helped to tackle the disease issues in the Indian shrimp farming clusters. Institutional support in the form of bank credit and insurance would further support the farmers in adoption of good aquaculture practices and ensure sustainability of the production system.”
One of the officials said,
“Insurance companies have been reluctant to provide insurance cover to shrimp farming for the last two decades, assuming that it is a risky venture. “CIBA has been sensitizing insurance companies and facilitating them with scientific data that shrimp farming with adoption of better management practices is sustainable and needs institutional support, such as suitable insurance products.”
T Ravisankar who is the principal scientist from the Social Sciences Division, CIBA also insisted on the institutional insurance. He claimed that it was the need of the hour for shrimp farming and it would create a win-win situation for both insurance companies and farmers.
Mr Ravishankar added that three of the stakeholders:
- Allianz Insurance
- New India Assurance
- ICICI General Insurance
had a meeting with the farmers and explained their packages and other conditions. Reportedly, majority of farmers will avail the package.
Source: The New Indian Express