ICAR-CIBA conducted a consultation meeting on implementation of aquaculture crop insurance at CIBA Chennai on 16.03.2023. Shri.N.Venkatesh, IAS, Senior Executive Director, National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Govt. of India, Hyderabad was the Chief Guest. Officials from NFDB, MPEDA, Agricultural Crop Insurance (AIC), ICICI Lombard, Alliance Insurance Brokers, Aquaconnect, farmer representatives and team of scientists from ICAR-CIBA attended the meeting. Dr.K.P.Jithendran, Director-In-Charge in his welcome note articulated that shrimp farming need to be supported with crop insurance as a risk management strategy and outlined the efforts taken by CIBA in developing an aquaculture crop insurance product with a help of Alliance Insurance Brokers which has already been launched by the United India Insurance Company.
Dr. T.Ravisankar, Principal Scientist and Coordinator, of the program gave a detailed presentation on the need for aquaculture insurance and argued that in the whole aquaculture value chain except farmer everyone is protected by one or other insurance product. Shrimp aquaculture alone can offer a business scope for Rs.1000 crores to insurance companies that would in-turn facilitate an institutional credit business of Rs.12000 crores for the banking institutions he asserted.
Officials from the insurance companies AIC and ICICI presented their existing parametric based crop insurances and expressed their willingness to launch an insurance product for aquaculture. Representatives from the Aquaconnect shared their practical experiences of implementing an aquaculture insurance scheme through the National Insurance Company in Odisha state. He sensitized the insurance companies about the difficulties faced by the farmers in filing the insurance claims and getting the settlements.
The farmer representatives welcomed the aquaculture insurance product and sought clarifications on the details to be submitted while availing the insurance as wells during filing claims. The time taken for insurance claim settlement, consideration of medium scale farms (2.1-4 ha) for premium subsidy and creek based group insurance were the other points raised by the farmers.
Mrs. Joyce Olive Rachel, Executive Director, NFDB detailed the insurance product being implemented by the United India Insurance company with a support of NFDB on pilot scale. She stated that the premium rates for the shrimp farming and freshwater fish farming are 2-3% and 4.7-5.0% respectively. The NFDB supports the scheme by extending a premium subsidy for small scale farmers (up to 2 ha) @ 20% for general farmers and 30% in case of women and SC/ST farmers respectively. The scheme is operated through the state fisheries she added.
Shri.N.Venkatesh, IAS, Senior Executive Director, NFDB who chaired the consultation underlined that the pilot scale implementation of aquaculture insurance product is to learn the experiences and based on that the product can be refined in tune with the production system, region/state and farmers affordability. He reiterated that NFDB would support CIBA in developing an aquaculture crop insurance that should be a sustainable and balanced one. He further emphasized that education and capacity building of farmers on aquaculture crop insurance implementation is the key for successful implementation of the scheme he concluded. The meeting was ended with the vote of thanks proposed by Dr.M.Muralidhar, Principal Scientist, ICAR-CIBA.