Shrimp farming, which accounts for about 70% of Indian seafood export revenue, is an intensive investment and risk-laden farming activity mainly due to viral disease outbreaks and crop losses. However, the adoption of better management practices, biosecurity measures, including aquatic health management and the use of SPF shrimp seeds, helped tackle the disease issues in farms.
Institutional support, such as bank credit and insurance, would further support farmers in the adoption of good aquaculture practices and ensure the sustainability of the production system. Insurance companies have been reluctant to provide insurance coverage to shrimp farming assuming that it is a risky farming venture and have kept away for the last two decades.
ICAR-CIBA has been sensitizing insurance companies and facilitating them with scientific data that shows that shrimp farming with the adoption of better management practices is sustainable and needs institutional support, such as suitable insurance products.
The center organized a consultation meeting to develop a crop insurance product for the shrimp industry. Allianz Insurance Chennai, New India Assurance Chennai, ICICI General Insurance Chennai and farmers and aqua business personnel exchanged their views on the draft proposal. Farmers expressed their coverage requirements and assured that the majority of the farmers would avail the insurance package.
Shri C A Srinivasan, vice president of Allianz Insurance, the company which is playing the facilitating role along with CIBA, stated that based on the outcome of the discussions on the insurance policy proposals, a pragmatic insurance policy could be worked out and subsequently the premium and other aspects would be discussed.