Indonesia aims to extend insurance for aquaculture farmers
Indonesia's government is taking steps to enhance the provision of insurance for aquaculture farmers as a means of lowering their collective business risk.
A 2016 law has paved the way for the country's federal government to provide payment of insurance premiums for small-scale fish farmers in Indonesia. The support will help the fishermen retain and continue to operate their businesseses in case they are affected by natural calamities or fish diseases, Antara News reported on 21 June.
"With this aquaculture insurance, farmers would run their business more comfortably and [it will be] easier [for them] to get access to funding for business expansion, hence fish farmers could increase productivity," Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry Director General of Aquaculture Slamet Soebjakto said.
From 2017 to 2019, the government has paid the premium for more than 15,000 fish farmers who raised shrimp, milkfish, tilapia, and catfish on a combined farming area of 20,836 hectares across 25 provinces in the country.
Farmers having a combined farming area of 5,000 hectares are expected to benefit from the scheme this year.
"The protection scheme for fish farming under the aquaculture micro-insurance in Indonesia will be expanded next year, not only for fresh-water and brackish-water fish-farming, but also for ocean fish-farming," Soebjakto said, adding that the insurance program may cover farming of seaweed, grouper, star pomfret, and white snapper in 2021.
The Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has also worked to help local farmers overcome difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Between March and May of this year, the ministry allocated 136 metric tons (MT) of fish feed to farmers in 24 cities in Indonesia. The ministry plans to distribute total 1,050 MT of feed to help raise seafood production this year.
In early March, when the first case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Indonesia, the ministry began offering a stimulus package for local farmers, including allocating fish seeds and feed and launching a campaign to boost the consumption of seafood products in the domestic market, according to Antara News.
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