By ROSS HENRY, QFF Project Manager- Natural Disasters
The Australian Government last Wednesday announced a $20 million Managing Farm Risk Programme. The programme aims to support farmers by encouraging the development of the insurance market in Australian agriculture. The objective is to ‘improve the capabilities of farmers to manage drought and other production market risks’ and ‘provide a short term boost to the multi-peril insurance market in Australia’. The potential rebate of $2500 for a farm entity will help cover costs incurred in securing, or attempting to secure an agricultural insurance product.
Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) is happy to see money finally being put on the table to encourage farmers to investigate options that are currently available. This is the first step to a viable multi-peril agricultural insurance market but more work is still needed.
Individual farms should take a good look at what is on offer through this ‘Managing Farm Risk Programme’.
Eligible farm businesses can apply for a rebate on the costs of engaging with qualified service providers. The rebate can be used for the following –
- Undertaking an assessment required by an insurance provider prior to, or within 12 months of the provider offering an insurance product.
- Compiling historical farm financial performance and production data.
- Preparing an analysis of insurance options in the context of a whole-of-farm risk assessment specific to the farm business over successive season.
Insurers’ interest in multi-peril insurance continues to grow with many new companies (backed by large multinationals) starting to enter the market. This means more options are becoming available and farmers are encouraged to research the market and seek advice.
QFF and its members understand that more work needs to be done. All the currently available insurance products are for broad acre cropping. We are seeing that there is an opportunity to develop viable Multi-Peril insurances for the intensive agriculture industries in Queensland. QFF sees this as an important area where government funding could assist in securing a beneficial outcome for Queensland agriculture.
The project will run until the end of the 2018-19 financial year and applications will be received until 15 May 2019 or when funding is exhausted. This is aimed at smaller farms with total cash receipts $2million and under.
For further information on the ‘Managing Farm Risk Programme’ call the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on 1800 837 857 or visit the website agriculture.gov.au/mfrp