Established in 1978, the Agricultural Insurance Organization (AIO) is a semi-government entity, under state supervision, exercised by the Minister of Environment and Agricultural Development. It offers compulsory insurance to farmers and indemnifies them in the case of losses from inevitable natural hazards which are included in the scheme in this way stabilising their income.
The Agricultural Insurance Scheme covers today a huge spectrum of products which includes deciduous fruits, citrus, grapes, potatoes, cereals, dry fodder, artichokes, loquats and dry beans, while the main hazards are hail and frost with the addition of some product-specific ones such as heat-wave in grapes, drought in cereals and waterspot in citrus.
The farmer´s participation in the scheme is currently compulsory and represents the solidarity between them, which is a basic principle of the scheme. Farmers have to pay an annual premium in the range of 2.5% to 5%, depending on the crop. An equal amount is added through the government subsidy.
The Organization targets the incorporation of the whole crop production into its insurance scheme, including at the same time additional hazards. A continuous monitoring of the crops’ performance in the scheme determines the changes needed in order to provide the farmers with a comprehensive scheme offering them the support necessary, and enabling them to maintain their farming activities in case severe damages affect their yield.
For more information:
Agricultural Insurance Organization website: www.oga.org.cy
Savvas Hadjimichael, Agricultural Insurance Officer