The Russian National Union of Agricultural Insurers has started working on a special insurance programme for the country’s pig industry.
That was explained by Kornei Bizhdov, the union’s president at the recent business meeting ‘Result of 2016. Problems and perspectives’ in Moscow.
Bizhdov said that a new insurance programme should solve coverage issues and would have to provide additional protection, in order to avoid losses for producers in case African Swine Fever (ASF) is confirmed on farms. The set-up of the programme should involve pig farms as much as possible.
Bizhdov added that the union expects to receive some state support for this programme, as long as it has obvious social importance and contributes to Russia’s food security.
The initiative gained support of Yuri Kovalev, general director of the National Union of Pork Producers (RUPP). While speaking at the same meeting, he expressed confidence that today’s major pork manufacturers would not even think about their business without adding insurance.
Kovalev said, over past few years pig industry in the country has been one of the fastest growing segments of the economy. Over the past decade it managed to increase operational performance by 6.5 times, including 2 times over past 3 years, lifting Russia’s pig production to become the world’s 5th in terms of pork production, according to Kovalev.
However, continuing spread of ASF has been a major concern for pig farmers, also because vaccine shall most likely will not be available within 10 years, Kovalev said. That problem forces pig manufacturers to spend loads of money on biosecurity measures and insurance payments.
Kovalev said that one of the most important tasks for the National Union of Agricultural Insurers, is to find new insurance solutions for Russia’s pig industry, which would please both insurers and pig farmers. At the moment, the RUPP investigates possible insurance options, he added.
Talks about such a pig industry programme are taking place as the worst-ever year for Russia is unfolding in terms of ASF spread. Since the beginning of 2016, already over 200 outbreaks have been registered, compared to 80-85 on average over past years.
Sergei Prostatin, general director of Rosselhozbank Insurance, said that this year ASF outbreaks of ASF have been registered at farms owned by large agricultural holdings with the highest levels of biosecurity. As a result, all types of pig breeding business in Russia are at risk, while overall losses of the industry this year from the epidemic could exceed the amount of direct government subsidies of 500 million roubles (US$8 million), he said.
The union of agricultural insurers added that in 2016 nearly 2.1 million pigs in 18 regions of Russia were included in various insurance programmes, which equals to roughly 8% of the country’s pig population.