Research grants boost possibility of multi-peril crop insurance

The outlook of multi-peril crop insurance has received a boost with the announcement of new research grants for projects that collect data to assess the viability of the insurance giving producers further options to protect their investments.

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Bill Byrne said the grants of up to $100,000 were good news for the Queensland agriculture sector.

“Crop insurance and other risk management options currently have a low level of uptake in Queensland and Australia,” the Minister said.

“This has been attributed to the lack of data against which insurers can assess and price risk, which makes crop insurance premiums more expense than they otherwise may be.

“These new research grants of up to $100,000 will support projects that collate and/or interpret agricultural production data on a regional or industry/crop specific basis.

“This data will then be publicly available and could be used in the assessment and development of risk management products such as crop insurance.

“We’ve consulted with agriculture and insurance sectors and listened to their suggestions on how improving agricultural production data could support the uptake of farm risk management options such as multi-peril crop insurance.

“Industry advised that some data exists at the individual producer level but hasn’t been collected or collated to provide aggregate data.

“These research grants will help address this issue. Eligible applicants are invited to submit proposals to receive grant funding of up to $100,000 (excluding GST), which may be a part or all of the financial cost of the research project.

“Applications will be assessed by a panel of officers from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries who will make recommendations to me as to successful applicants.

“Successful applicants will submit a completed report, together with the underlying macro data, which will then be in the public domain and potentially used by industry and insurance providers in the development of insurance products catering to that specific industry.

“This is a positive development for our crop producers as access to risk management products such as crop insurance is one way that they can manage risks such as frosts, drought, floods or pests.

“We’re working hard to support our producers through the Rural Assistance Package announced in the 2016/17 State Budget.”