by James Chalmers

The Federal Government is framing to give a major fillip to the rural insurance industry, with tax breaks for comprehensive crop insurance rumoured to be on the agenda.

The ABC is reporting that the upcoming white paper on the future of Australia’s agriculture industry is set to recommend the introduction of a refundable tax offset scheme for crop cover, with the government attempting to lessen farmers’ reliance on drought assistance.

Latevo debuted a multi-peril crop insurance product last year but has reported a strong desire for a larger pool of clients.

The West Australian quoted RSM Bird Cameron director John Thomson as saying the plan could effectively halve the premium a farmer pays.

“What we have modelled is that if we can take out losses for our most productive farmers, they will then engage in more productivity innovation.”

Thomson was part of a recent taskforce on crop insurance which found it could increase the productivity of the agricultural sector by reducing the financial volatility associated with unpredictable weather patterns.