FARMERS are urging the federal government to work with insurance companies to help them protect their crops against drought, as part of an overhaul of farm support to encourage them to manage risk and prepare for tough times.
The calls for the government to help set up affordable crop insurance have originated in Western Australia, where farmers are bracing for their worst season in years, but are also being taken up by the National Farmers Federation, The Australian Financial Review reports.
WA Farmers Federation president Mike Norton said the need for multi-peril crop insurance – insuring a crop against a range of weather events – had been raised at a series of growers' meetings in the state in recent weeks.
"What we're pushing for is insurance just to cover the cost of production. That would give the banks the confidence to underwrite a farmer to plant a crop the following season," he said.
The National Farmers Federation is examining the idea and believes it could play a role in the federal government's planned overhaul of its drought assistance policy and its bid to help farmers prepare for climate change.