Written by Metta Kongphan-apirak, Project Coordinator of Remote Sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economies (RIICE) Project
The Indonesian government is stepping up their efforts to make more rice farmers understand the benefits of the rice insurance scheme.
The exchange visit of the Indonesian officials who are in charge of crop insurance to Bangkok was organized between April 29 and May 1, 2019 by the Remote sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging economies (RIICE) project with the supports from Germany’s international cooperation for sustainable development, GIZ based in Indonesia and Jasindo, an Indonesia-based general insurance company.
Currently, the insurance scheme allows farmers to insure crop against losses incurred by natural disasters including floods and drought. The insurance also covers harvest failure due to disaster-related damage.
However, the outreach of paddy crop insurance is still far from the target coverage of 1 million hectares per year.
With the payout, farmers will be able to buy farm inputs and seeds to re-grow their crops. Moreover, farmers can repay their loans even during the time of crop failure with the support of the insurance.
Nevertheless, farmers receive little information about the crop insurance and its benefits to their livelihoods and their farms. They thought the money should go for farm inputs, which ensure relatively tangible yields instead.
The farmers do not understand the registration and claim procedure, worrying if there is crop failure, the compensation will be very difficult to claim.
“Agriculture insurance has very special characteristics and multiple parties working together on data and technology in the insurance value chain is crucial. We need to expediate these processes and make them easy for farmers to deal with insurance,” said Ika Dwinita Sofa, Group Head of Agriculture, Micro Insurance and Government Program at PT Asuransi Jasa Indonesia, the second largest general insurance company in Indonesia.
She pointed out that there should be an evaluation on the current scheme of crop insurance in Indonesia. An adoption and modification in terms of claim process based on an area approach with the use of remote sensing technology should also be taken into account.
While Noor Avianto, Head of Farming Sub-director at the National Development Planning Agency or Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional (BAPPENAS) put more emphasis on cooperation on information exchange and sharing of experience on crop insurance.
“Knowledge sharing has been of great importance within our cooperation to implement an agricultural insurance scheme in Indonesia. With our pilot coming to an end soon, it is time for the Indonesian government to come up with a medium-term plan and vision for crop insurance.”
The exchange visit aims to provide an opportunity for the involved officers at both policy and operational levels to share knowledge and experiences to improve the crop insurance programme and drive it forward in the Indonesian context.
About 10 representatives from Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture, the BAPPENAS, PT Asuransi Jasa Indonesia and GIZ Indonesia took part in the trip.