Only lasted 2 months, the legislators passed the third reading of the Agricultural Insurance Act under high consensus on May 12, setting a milestone in the development of Taiwan’s agricultural insurance.
Chen Chi-chung, Minister of Council of Agriculture, said that the Executive Yuan had passed the draft Agricultural Insurance Act in July 2019 and transferred the bill to the Legislative Yuan for examination, which was further delayed due to legislative election. The bill was submitted again in March 2020, and was passed expeditiously. We express our gratitude towards Legislative Yuan Economics Committee convener Chiu Yi-ying, legislators and the general public for the support in the promotion of agricultural insurance.
The Agricultural Insurance Act contains 8 chapters and 30 articles, which aims to institutionalize agricultural insurance coverage, mechanisms, subsidies, and reward measures. The main points are as follows:
1. Coverage Expansion: In addition to natural disasters, epidemics, pests, and market factors can all be covered.
2. Double Insurer Mechanism: Both the insurance companies and Farmers’ / Fishermen’s Associations can act as an insurer, according to the industry characteristic or government policy, to make good use of the insurance operating efficiency and the advantage of Farmers’ / Fishermen’s Associations are close to farmers and fishermen.
3. Establish Agricultural Insurance Foundation Fund: In order to effectively diversify risk for agricultural insurance, a foundation fund is established to execute risk-spreading mechanisms. The size of the fund is compiled from the authority until reaching NT$10 billion, declaring the determination to promote agricultural insurance.
4. Raise Premium Subsidy Ratio: During trial period, subsidies are set between 1/2 to 1/3 of the premium, which will be up to 75% limit within 5 years after the implementation of the Agricultural Insurance Act, and will be set to 60% from the 6th year onwards.
Minister Chen pointed out that the government has pushed forward the trial implementation of agricultural insurance since 2017. So far, a total of 20 items including rice, pear, and banana have been included to the program. Furthermore, 27 insurance policies have been created, 47,000 insured, amounting to NT 10.5 billion insured, and reaching 78,000 hectare of insured land. These numbers are still growing. After the implementation of the said act, it will be integrated with agricultural policies to enhance the implement effectiveness of agricultural insurance, reducing operational risks for agriculture while securing income for the farmers.
The enactment of the Agricultural Insurance Act not only shows the determination of the government to promote agricultural insurance, but also carries forward the affection of our society towards our land, farmers and agriculture. This will make Taiwan’s agriculture even stronger and the farmers’ life even more secured. To continue the policies implemented during the trial period, the COA will immediately set up relevant regulations, build an integrated operational mechanism, promote agricultural insurance, increase number of covered items, and expand insurance coverage to fulfill its duty of looking after our farmers.