At the State Council executive meeting on April 26, Premier Li Keqiang urged more efforts to provide disaster insurance for farmers, so as to enhance their ability to fight against disasters and safeguard their income while further promoting the development of the agricultural sector.
“Disaster insurance is especially vital to the development of scaled farming operations since they are most vulnerable to disasters,” Premier Li said.
At a symposium this year, he heard complaints on high standards for insurance claims and immediately called for studies and research from related departments to make adjustments to fit the urgent needs of new agricultural entities.
Then in this year’s government work report, Premier Li asked authorities to provide disaster insurance for farmers engaging in appropriately scaled farming operations, while financial funds can be utilized when necessary. He also urged improving insurance coverage rates and compensation standards, and enhancing the reinsurance system.
The April 26 meeting, which was chaired by Premier Li, decided to officially push forward its implementation by launching pilot zones to improve the overall disaster insurance level in the agriculture sector.
According to the meeting, disaster insurance will be provided in 13 major grain-producing provinces, with insurance covering material costs and land rental induced by disaster. Meanwhile, the government will also increase the proportion of subsidy for insurance payment in the pilot counties.
“We are aiming at innovating the disaster relief mechanism in agriculture and making full use of our financial funds, in an effort to increase farmers’ income and promote the development of modern agriculture,” the Premier said.
He further stressed that authorities are allowed to make flexible adjustments according to local conditions while launching disaster insurance pilot programs.
“Financial funds also support exploration in all kinds of moderate scale management, as long as they abide by related laws and regulations,” the Premier added.
Agriculture serves as the key foundation for economic growth, as well as improving people’s livelihoods, as the “No 1 central document” has been devoted to agriculture, farmers and rural areas in recent years, according to Premier Li. In 2016, the document put forward a new development concept to drive agricultural modernization, while this year it urged deepening supply-side structural reform in agriculture to cultivate new development engines for the sector.
“I visited an agricultural machinery cooperative in Shandong several days ago, where farmers earn money by buying shares or charging contract fees relying on their own lands. Meanwhile, through mechanized scale operation, they can yield more production,” Premier Li said. “Only by developing various forms of moderate scale management and expanding agricultural machinery services, can farmers’ rights be guaranteed!”