Sri Lanka plans new agri-insurance scheme as drought bites

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-28 22:57:24|Editor: yan
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COLOMBO, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka is working to provide agriculture insurance to thousands of farmers, the government said here on Thursday, as the country continues to suffer under the worst drought in 40 years that has affected nearly 1.9 million people.

The government said on its official website that the Cabinet has approved the proposal from the Agricultural Minister Duminda Dissanayake which would consider providing 40,000 Rupees (about 267 U.S. dollars) for each acre affected by natural disasters.

A range of crops including rice, maize, soya, large onions, potato and chillies would be covered under the scheme, the web post said.

Sri Lanka's State-run National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) in 2016 insured all local households against natural disasters, making Sri Lanka one of the few developing countries in the world to have a countrywide insurance policy that includes all houses.

NITF will also be responsible for the agri-insurance scheme newly proposed by the government.

The developments come in the backdrop of an ongoing drought that has resulted in over 300,000 families in Sri Lanka becoming food insecure and raised indebtedness in farmer communities, according to the United Nations (UN).

Due to ongoing drought, the rice production for 2017 is expected to be the lowest paddy production in the last 10 years.

The government along with the UN and other organizations has rolled out relief programmes.