Sri Lanka to provide crop insurance for disasters with tax-payer subsidy

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will start a crop insurance scheme for farmers with part of the premium being paid by tax-payers, amounting to 3.0 billion rupees, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.

"Farmers are constantly at the mercy of the weather Gods and successive Governments have been doling out funds to the farmers whenever there has been a drought or floods in an indiscriminate manner," Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.

"It is in this context that the weather indexed insurance scheme has been designed.

"The insurance cover will be a minimum of Rs. 40,000 per acre for 6 crops including paddy and other 5 emerging crops such as Maize, Soya, Big Onion, Potato, and Chilli."

Many of the named crops however are uncompetitive and farmers exploit the hungry by selling them at higher than world prices.

The price maize in particular – which is an animal feed has brought cheap protein to millions of children who would otherwise suffer from malnutrition – is being kept high through an elaborate scheme of permits and import duties to benefit a few. (Colombo/Nov11/2017)

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