Poultry Sector Wants Insurance Coverage

BANGLADESH - Poultry industry operators have urged the government to introduce insurance scheme to protect farmers in the sector from losses in the wake of avian influenza.
calendar icon 14 June 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

They said the government should include poultry insurance in its plan for an agriculture insurance scheme proposed in the new budget.

The Daily Star reports that the government has taken steps to introduce agriculture insurance to provide farmers with crop price support in case of crop failures due to natural disasters.

The poultry industry leaders do not need price support but a policy guideline to encourage insurance companies to introduce poultry insurance.

Poultry insurance will help improve quality management practices and encourage new investment in the sector, the operators said.

“We expect the poultry insurance to be part of the agriculture insurance scheme,” said Kazi Zahedul Hasan, president of Breeders' Association of Bangladesh, a body of about 50 poultry breeders.

The poultry insurance is necessary to offset the losses caused by disasters such as avian influenza, said Mr Hasan, also managing director of a leading poultry breeder, Kazi Farms Ltd.

The poultry stakeholders make their plea as the attack of avian influenza continues to bleed the sector, causing a loss of investments and jobs. The disease is claimed to have caused a loss of about Tk 5,000 crore since the outbreak in early 2007.

According to the statistics of Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association, the first wave of the bird flu outbreak forced nearly 40 percent out of 150,000 farms to quit production, winding up direct and indirect jobs of around 20 lakh people.

“We have seen that the farmers just become bankrupt in a night because of the death of the birds in avian flu attack,” said Moshiur Rahman, managing director of Paragon Group, another leading poultry breeder.

He said many farmers run business by procuring chicks sand feed on credit. “If insurance coverage is extended to the farmers, they will be able to repay the debts and won't need to quit the business,” he said.

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