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Drought-hit NSW renews push for farm insurance scheme

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NSW has again called for a dedicated insurance scheme to protect farmers and the wider agricultural sector from future droughts and other natural disasters.

Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall urged his federal and state counterparts to back the idea, saying the current drought underscores the need for “bold action” to weather future dry spells.

Last July the NSW Government announced it would spend $2 million to explore the feasibility of such a scheme with the National Farmers’ Federation.

“This is the worst drought on record and it’s become a truly national crisis,” he said last week following an urgent meeting of agriculture ministers in Moree, NSW.

“Now is the time for bold action and we must take the learnings of this drought to prepare for the inevitable next droughts after this.

“That’s why I continue to urge other governments to support NSW in developing a national farm income protection scheme.

“There is a clear market failure when it comes to farm income protection models in Australia, and that is why I am of the firm view there is a role for government in getting such a scheme off the ground.”

The $2 million feasibility study includes looking at insurance schemes available to farmers in the US and Europe.