Neither the catastrophes caused in recent times by the tremendous storms that have ravaged the province have led to the contracting of agricultural insurance has been intensified. The reason must be found in the ahigh prices, which keep half of Alicante’s plantations without coverage. This is what La Unió denounces, an organization that advocates claiming that policies are mandatory and subsidies are maintained, as the only formula to reduce costs and make them more affordable for farmers. Meanwhile, the loss ratio last year stood at 20.3 million euros, after decreasing 13% compared to 2019.
You might think that the damage caused by DANA in September 2019 or the storm Gloria in 2020 could have encouraged farmers to insure their fields to avoid losses. But not for those. Hiring policies in the province of Alicante stays just barely above 50%, something that from La Unió do not hesitate to link with the high prices. Santiago Pascual, secretary of this organization at the Camp d’Elx, highlights that, since the 80s of the last century, the same system has been maintained in agricultural insurance, when, to encourage recruitment, both the Ministry of Agriculture and the autonomous communities decided provide subsidies to lower prices. “The problem is that this was only going to work if everyone hired and shared the costs of compensation, something that has never happened at any time, because Farmers with low risks do not pay“, the Mint.
The cultivated area in the province of Alicante is 130,000 hectares that, together, generate 1,420,000 tons of production with an economic value of 650 million euros
The solution, highlights Pascual, is to make agricultural insurance mandatory. “It may seem outrageous, but it would be the same as in the case of cars. If everyone contributes and the aid is maintained, the costs would be much more manageable ».
Another aspect that should be addressed is the high accident rate in specific areas. “If damage occurs in a region or valley every year, it would still be necessary to consider whether the type of crop being planted is appropriate or not”, underlines the leader of La Unió.
Eladio Aniorte, president of Asaja in Alicante, also refers to the high prices. «In the Vega Baja region, for example, 60% of the citrus plantations are insured, but the same is not the case with vegetables, which barely reach 3%. The reason must be found in that it is about crops of just 100 days from planting to harvest, and people take risks. In any case, I always advise to ensure the harvests, “he alleges.
One of the crops that is suffering the most from high prices is that of bagged table grape from Vinalopó, whose Denomination of Origin and the city councils recently demanded measures to lower the prices of the policies after the repetitive price increases.
Of the 20.3 million compensation paid in 2020, 9.4 million were for citrus, 2.3 for cherries, 2.1 for fruit trees and 2 for table grapes
It should be noted that the province has 130,000 cultivated hectares that generate 1,420,000 tons of production. The economic value is around 650 million euros.
On the other hand, the loss ratio registered in 2020 was 20.3 million euros, and the area affected reached 11,700 hectares, according to the information provided by Agroseguro. The compensation was 9.4 million for citrus, 2.3 for cherry, 2.1 for fruit trees and 2 for table grapes. The hail caused damages worth 7.9 million; the wind, by 4.2; and rains by 1.8. In 2019 the compensation was 23 million, being 11.1 for citrus, 4.4 for table grapes, 1.4 for cherries and 1.3 for fruit trees.
Asaja criticizes the fact that the aid of the Consell does not reach the Vega Baja
The president of Asaja, Eladio Aniorte, criticizes that the aid promised by the Generalitat for farmers affected by the DANA of 2019 has not yet arrived. In his words, «the damages in agriculture were around 600 million euros, but so far only compensation has been received from the few who had insurance, and a maximum of 8,000 euros from the Ministry for farmers with 60,000 loss ”.
The aid of the Consell, however, continues without being effective. “They tell us that they are in the process and that it is a matter of bureaucracy, but here we are still waiting after all the time that has passed.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.