Stock taking of Country Profile Crop Insurance in ASEAN

Report Release – Taking a closer look on the status of ASEAN countries’ crop insurance schemes.

Be it the persistent dry conditions that affected the rice growing lands in the entire Mekong River region earlier this year or the heavy flash floods following in August, in the Eastern Thai Provinces
 – climate and weather-related events continue to threaten rice farmer’s livelihoods throughout 2019.

In the light of such weather extremes, crop insurance can play an important role. It is not only as a risk management tool but also as a strategic element in the promotion of sustainable agriculture, increasing farmers financial resilience.

A recent report by the ASEAN-Sustainable Agri-food Systems project is looking in the status and current developments of crop insurance in ASEAN countries. It sheds light on the different approaches and framework conditions behind existing crop insurance schemes and programs in the region:

In many ASEAN countries, crop insurance is still at an early stage and insurance penetration is very low. Countries are facing various issues and different challenges in the development and implementation of crop insurance programs, for example lack of data, limited budgets and resources, capacity and institutional issues or low levels of awareness from potential customers.

From the ten ASEAN Member States, only the Philippines and Thailand are currently operating larger-scale crop insurance schemes. The agriculture insurance pilot program in Vietnam has been suspended for a long time and is now under revision after a recent Decision by the Prime Minister. Indonesia plans to scale up its government-supported pilot program in the near future and Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar have government-approved plans or implement pilot projects. Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR and Singapore do not have crop insurance programs at the moment.

Along with further partners and in close collaboration with national stakeholders, GIZ is supporting ASEAN and its member states in advancing crop insurance. The ASEAN-Sustainable Agrifood Systems (ASEAN-SAS) project, under collaboration with the RIICE project, aims to provide national partners in various ASEAN countries with satellite-based information assisting decision-makers and insurers to better manage rice production and disaster risks.

In addition, GIZ facilitates establishing regulatory and policy frameworks for a successful implementation of crop insurance schemes. Creating platforms for knowledge exchange is an important step in this direction. Thus, policy makers will have the opportunity to further discuss crop insurance strategies during a Thai National Workshop on Crop Insurance as well as a region-wide ASEAN workshop from December 2nd– 4th, 2019 in Bangkok. This report will provide a useful discussion basis and can help participants to identify possible areas focus and action. 

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