Insurance coverage for fisheries and aquaculture units abysmal in India, FAO report says

Given the low penetration of insurance products in the fisheries sector, the FAO Global Review of Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 suggested the involvement of public and private insurance service providers to take proactive steps to turn the tide of fisheries and aquaculture insurance in India.

With weather conditions playing truant in the fisheries sector, the involvement of insurance service providers should be encouraged for the overall competitiveness and efficiency of service delivery in the sector.

The report takes on greater significance as the occupational risks to life and property of fishers and fish farmers are increasingly on the rise with the occurrence of frequent extreme weather events in recent times.

However, there is a general lack of awareness of insurance solutions among fishers and aquaculturists. Insurance coverage for fishing vessels, coastal real estate and aquaculture units is abysmal in India. Appropriate extension efforts by government agencies/NGOs/aquaculture companies with appropriate involvement of the fishing community could bridge the gap and facilitate the marketing of insurance products at the local level.

Grouping of plans

Given the strong network of micro-finance institutions and self-help groups in coastal regions, the report highlighted that bundling disaster risk insurance packages with existing micro-credit programs can be a viable option.

Shinoj Parapppurath, Senior Scientist, ICAR-CMFRI, Kochi and author of the Indian chapter of the report indicated that the prohibitive cost of policies currently offered is one of the reasons for the low uptake of fishing vessels and asset insurance in the coastal region. . Additionally, there are no options to pay premiums in installments or in a way that matches fish landing patterns. However, innovative solutions whereby the payment of premiums linked to fishing income or seasonal income could change the way fishermen approach insurance.

A similar scheme is run by Matsyafed in Kerala, where interest on loans is repaid daily through deductions made from fishing income. Such a system can be imitated to collect insurance premium payments in installments, the report says.

FAO’s 2022 Global Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture Review provided a comprehensive account of the current state of insurance in the top 10 capture fisheries and aquaculture producers globally.

The chapter on India provides interesting information on the state of fisheries/aquaculture insurance and presents a number of strategies and options to protect small-scale fishers from occupational risks, particularly those resulting from extreme weather-induced events. by climate change.

Mariculture, the future source of marine fish, also requires insurance coverage and must be viable in the long term. New insurance packages covering marine and indoor cages, sea farming, brood bank/hatchery units and seaweed farming units should be introduced as a matter of priority, according to the report.

Published on

April 26, 2022

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Justin D. O'Neill