China's finance ministry urges increased farm insurance coverage

SHANGHAI, Oct 12 (Reuters) - China’s Ministry of Finance on Saturday published suggestions for improving the country’s agricultural insurance to better protect farmers.

In a document released on the ministry’s website on Saturday but dated September 19, the ministry advocated, among other things, increased coverage and insurance to protect farmers from the impact of natural disasters and changes in agricultural product prices.

Chinese farmers have had a difficult year, with pig stocks hit by African swine fever and crops affected by the spread of the fall armyworm.

Calling this type of insurance an “important tool to distribute the risk of agricultural production management”, the ministry called for a better market environment and improved supervision of the sector.

By 2030, the overall development of agricultural insurance should reach an advanced global level, it said. The document called for a clear demarcation between the role of government and the market in this area. (Reporting By Alexandra Harney; Editor Neil Fullick)