DA sets P17-B for farmers' crop-insurance protection

by Jonathan L. Mayuga, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jan 16 2013 08:28 AM | Updated as of Jan 16 2013 04:28 PM

The government has allocated P17.1 billion in crop-insurance protection for agrarian-reform beneficiaries (ARBs) for the next two cropping seasons.

The “Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries-Agricultural Insurance Program [ARB-AIP]” will be jointly implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC).

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Jerry E. Pacturan, on behalf of Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, formally forged on Tuesday the partnership through a memorandum of agreement in simple ceremonies the DA’s Bureau of Soils and Water Management Convention Hall.

The first of such collaboration between the two main rural development agencies of the government, the program aims to provide ARBs safety nets against crop pests and diseases, as well as the increasingly unpredictable weather patterns brought on by the intensifying climate change.

According to the PCIC, over 224,000 ARBs or members of their households are expected to benefit from the program. The beneficiaries will receive premium subsidy and will be enrolled under the DA-PCIC’s crop insurance programs.

The program will effectively cover about 330,000 hectares devoted to food production, particularly rice, corn and high-value vegetables, and the raising of some 30,700 farm animals.

Under the partnership agreement, the DAR, the lead implementing agency of the government’s agrarian-reform program, will identify the eligible beneficiaries.

The program-beneficiaries must be participants of key DAR programs, like the Agrarian Reform Connectivity and Economic Support Service (Arcess), Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP), Credit Assistance Program for Program Beneficiaries Development (CAP-PBD) and Microfinance Capacity Development in Agrarian Reform Areas. The DAR will identify the eligible beneficiaries.

The PCIC estimated that of these targeted beneficiaries, 99,580 are rice farmers tilling 178,801 hectares; 37,772 corn farmers, 72,506 hectares; and 85,760 commercial crop farmers, 78,633 hectares.

Three hectares is the maximum size of farms that ARBs can get under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. The insurance protection is good for two cropping seasons.

An estimated 924 farmers raise 30,742 animals.

Additionally, the beneficiaries will be provided protection against loss of life and limb under the DA-PCIC’s Accident and Dismemberment Security Scheme.

Exactly 155,360 such policies will be supported under the program. Premium cost for this insurance line will be sourced from the interest income of the DAR-Government Premium Subsidy (DAR-GPS) Fund.

The DAR will put up the premium subsidy worth P1 billion for the DAR-GPS for agrarian-reform beneficiaries.?? Of the amount, P533.78 million will be allocated for rice farmers,?? P385.82 million for corn farmers,?? P79.09 million for high-value crop farmers and P1.31 million for livestock.? The premium cost for the individual farmer’s life-and-limb coverage amounting to P5.43 million would come from interest income of the DAR-GPS Fund.

For its part, the DA-PCIC will provide the insurance cover worth some P17.07 billion.?? Of the sum,?? some P4.94 billion will be reserved for rice, P2.0 billion for corn,?? P2.35 billion for commercial crops, P13 million for livestock and some P7.77 billion for the individual farmer’s life and limb.?

In case the risks or perils come to pass, the DA-PCIC will pay out damage claims from these beneficiaries within 20 days, less than the 60-day reglamentary period.? This is made possible by the ISO-certified systems and processes established by the DA-PCIC.?

Depending on the extent of damage and the cost of farm investment,? the farmers may receive payments for damages worth P39,000 to P52,000 per hectare for inbred and hybrid rice, respectively; ?P28,000 and P40,000 for every hectare of open-pollinated and hybrid corn, respectively;? and? up to P50,000 for life and limb. These are various indemnity figures for commercial crops and animals as there are many types of crops and animals involved.