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Freeman Cebu Business

95T farmers in CV insures lands for P2.4B

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Over 95,000 farmers in Central Visayas availed of agricultural insurance products as of July 31 this year to insure their crops and assets from calamities and other perils.

Official data from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) furnished to The FREEMAN indicated the sum insured by these farmers amounted to P2.4 billion, covering 99,903 hectares of land.

The insurance lines availed about 95,501 agricultural growers in the region include rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock, non-crop agricultural assets, credit and life term and fishery.

Crescencio Deligero Jr., PCIC regional manager, said that his office is targeting to insure 142,950 farmers in Central Visayas -- those from Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental -- this year, citing data.

The amount to be insured is pegged at P5.5 billion, covering 107,747 hectares of land.

Deligero said his office had received P3 million from the regional Department of Agriculture (DA) for its insurance programs.

From January to July this year, state-owned PCIC had already paid out a total of P23.2 million in insurance claims to 3,295 CV farmers.

The PCIC, an attached agency of DA, said Filipino farmers availing of its crop-insurance program grew 24.3% last year to 924,343 from 743,589 in the previous year.

With the frequent occurrence of climate change-related disasters such as strong typhoons and extreme heat, crop insurance protection has become important for farmers to sustain their livelihood.

In a study it released early this year, state-run think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) suggested that the PCIC revisit its insurance program, saying that the "appropriateness of the product lines being offered need to be assessed".

PDIS said that PCIC should also ensure that agricultural insurance could be an effective risk management tool for agricultural producers.

The think tank further suggested that the amount of cover or the sum insured be increased to cover for the production cost in order to help agri producers recover easily from a shock.

"To increase awareness about the PCIC and its programs, information campaign should be intensified and should be done in collaboration with LGUs and its other partners," said the PDIS study which is available on its website.

The PCIC is mandated to provide insurance protection to agricultural producers in the country against crop and non-crop agricultural asset losses due to natural calamities, pests and diseases and other perils.

PDIS recognized that the farm sector's contribution to economic development cannot be undervalued as it has become an important source of food and raw materials.

That's why crop insurance is vital to the sector, which has been experiencing stagnant growth, especially that the situation of the poor who work in the industry is exacerbated by the increasingly prevalent calamities, pests and other unpredictable events, it explained. — Carlo S. Lorenciana (FREEMAN)

AGRICULTURAL CARLO S CENTRAL VISAYAS CRESCENCIO DELIGERO JR. CROP DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT STUDIES FROM JANUARY INSURANCE PCIC PHILIPPINE CROP INSURANCE CORP
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