Farmers in Turkey have become increasingly aware of insurance, and more are taking steps to obtain coverage for their crops and livestock, according to Ms. Serpil Gunal, general manager and board member of the Agricultural Insurance Pool (TARSIM).
According to a report by the state-run news agency Anadolu, Ms. Gunal said, "There has been an increase in total premium production. In 2021, TRY3.3bn ($177.6m) premiums were produced in all agricultural insurance branches." This year, the figure could reach TRY5.5bn, with the increase higher than the inflation rate.
According to official data announced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, there were 2m farmers registered in the Farmer Registration System. Among them, 500,000 were insured last year. This year, the number has increased to 606,000 to date.
Last year, TARSIM paid out TRY2.7bn compensation to farmers and breeders, whose crops, greenhouses, bovine and ovine animals, hives, poultry, and fishery products were damaged due to various risk events. This year, the pool has paid TRY2.1bn to date. "We anticipate that this amount will increase to TRY4bn by the end of the year," said Ms. Gunal.
In her statement on developments in the state-supported agricultural insurance system, Ms. Gunal stated that the frequency and severity of natural disasters and risks were being increasingly felt more, because of the effects of global climate change.
"This situation increases the tendency towards agricultural insurance. Our farmers have become more aware of insurance."
Ms. Gunal also said, "The premium support provided by the state to producers is very important here. In the pool system implemented in our country, 50% state premium support is provided in all agricultural insurance branches. At the same time, the premium support for covering risk of frost on fruits in production is 67%. A special 70% state premium support is offered in drought yield insurance up to 2022."
She added that the Income Protection Insurance programme, which was implemented last year in Konya's Cihanbeyli, Karatay and Kadinhani districts for wheat products, is being extended to all districts of Konya and work is progressing as well to implement it throughout Turkey in 2023.
Founded in 2005, TARSIM has 16 regional offices across the country. Under the system, insurance companies issue insurance policies in their own name; however, the risks and 100% of the premium must be transferred to the Pool. The insurance companies can opt to take a share from the Pool through retrocession.