Crop insurance under PPP likely from this fiscal year

FE Report | Published: July 24, 2019 11:24:55 | Updated: July 27, 2019 12:25:36

A paddy field is inundated after flooding at Astomir Char of Kurigram's Chilmari Upazila (Photo Courtesy: Unicef)

Crop insurance in haor (wetland) area might begin this fiscal year (FY), 2019-20, under a public-private partnership (PPP) mechanism, said people familiar with this development on Tuesday.

In June, the national budget speech in parliament touched on the matter considering crop losses by farmers due to floods and other natural disasters.

"We've decided in principle to introduce it under PPP," Gokul Chand Das, a member at the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA), told the FE.

The state-owned Sadharan Bima Corporation (SBC) earlier conducted a pilot project, funded by the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB), in three districts.

Mr Das said at least two non-life insurers-one from public and another from the private sector-might engage in the first phase of implementing crop insurance.

"We've some problem relating to weather-based insurance that needs data on weather from the authentic organisation as compensations depend on it," he cited.

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department has adequate logistics and manpower to analyse such data.

The SBC had used the department's assistance while conducting the project.

The regulator has already written to the financial institutions division under finance ministry to form a high-powered committee on how to expedite the mechanism, Mr Das mentioned.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Insurance Association (BIA), a group of privately-opened life and non-life insurance firms, and Helvetas Swiss Inter-cooperation Bangladesh co-hosted a roundtable at Dhaka Club on Monday on how to implement the insurance programme in the country.

BIA is a group of privately-opened life and non-life insurance firms and Helvetas Swiss is a Switzerland-based non-governmental agency. IDRA chairman Shafiqur Rahman Patwari, BIA president Sheikh Kabir and others were present at the event.

However, SBC sources said introducing crop insurance in haor area is different from plain-land crop insurance.

Haor area faces flash floods and meteorological devices do not work properly, they observed.

"Flash floods may happen due to sudden water flows from Indian part and metrological devices here do not work," said an SBC official.


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