Drought, frost, hail… Parliament adopts the crop insurance reform – 02/24/2022 at 19:20

By

A winegrower monitors his vineyard during an episode of frost on April 12, 2021 in Le Landreau, near Nantes (AFP / Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS)

A winegrower monitors his vineyard during an episode of frost on April 12, 2021 in Le Landreau, near Nantes (AFP / Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS)

On the eve of the Agricultural Show, Parliament adopted Thursday by a final vote of the Senate a reform of crop insurance long awaited by the agricultural world, on the front line facing the consequences of climate change.

The bill had been adopted for the last time on Tuesday by the National Assembly, in the compromise version obtained by the joint committee.

Faced with “a system out of breath” and a multiplication coupled with an intensification of climatic hazards, the Minister of Agriculture Julien Denormandie praised “a historic reform, the fruit of intensive parliamentary work”.

Sketched out in September by President Emmanuel Macron during a gathering of young farmers, it must be operational on January 1, 2023.

Concretely, the text creates “a universal system of compensation” on three levels: a first level concerns the farmer, who will have to assume the most modest losses, up to a threshold of deductible; a second level is the responsibility of the insurer, and a third is the responsibility of the State, which, above a loss threshold, will mobilize public funds to respond to disaster situations.

Vine buds damaged by frost in Estagel, near Perpignan, southern France, April 13, 2021 ( AFP / RAYMOND ROIG )

Vine buds damaged by frost in Estagel, near Perpignan, southern France, April 13, 2021 ( AFP / RAYMOND ROIG )

A one-stop shop has been created to simplify procedures.

The text provides for the creation of a pool of insurers. Adhering to it would be mandatory for insurers in the sector, thus allowing data sharing and pooling of risks, to establish the fairest possible insurance premium.

Compensation for crop losses has hitherto been based on the parallel operation of two schemes.

The first, that of agricultural calamities, has existed since the 1960s. Co-financed by farmers and the State, it excludes certain sections of agriculture (viticulture and field crops) and its deadlines are considered too long.

The second is the insurance system, private, but 65% subsidized by the State, in deficit and still little subscribed by farmers (about 18% all crops combined, according to the ministry).

The late frost episode in spring 2021 clearly showed the limits of the system: the State had to announce exceptional funding of one billion euros and make wine-growing areas eligible for compensation.

“To something misfortune is good”, noted Bernard Buis (RDPI with majority En Marche) for whom this disaster “contributed to the convergence of all the actors”.

– Ensuring “trust” –

The senators fought to transform the text “into an ambitious orientation law”, by introducing quantified elements. The law will thus enshrine the commitment to the tune of 600 million euros per year in public expenditure to support the deployment of the reform, over the period 2023-2030, and in the appendix, the objectives to be achieved for agricultural land guaranteed, by type of crop, by 2030, as well as indicative targets for the levels of State intervention by production.

It is a question of guaranteeing “trust”, insisted the rapporteur Laurent Duplomb (LR). “If we are already hearing a little music which would consist in telling us that it would not be especially respected, I repeat it solemnly, these rates oblige us (…) because these rates speak to farmers”, he said. he adds.

Corn field during a heat wave on August 21, 2018 in Bouloire, in northwestern France ( AFP / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER )

Corn field during a heat wave on August 21, 2018 in Bouloire, in northwestern France ( AFP / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER )

“You have given a boost to what is now an orientation law”, greeted the socialist Denis Bouad.

The ministry aims for around half of crops to be insured by 2030.

Farmers are strongly encouraged to take out insurance: compensation paid under national solidarity will be reduced for uninsured farmers. A mechanism for “modulating” the installation aid will encourage young farmers to take out multi-risk climate insurance as soon as they start their business.

Two political groups voted against the text, which according to Fabien Gay (CRCE with a communist majority) “gets stuck in the choice of private insurance”. The ecologist Daniel Salmon also deplored a “disengagement of the State for the benefit of the insurance sector”.

Maryse Carrère recalled that a majority of the radically majority RDSE group was in favor of compulsory crop insurance. Nevertheless, the senators of the group voted for the text because “attached to the protection of the work and the investments of the operators and especially of their income”.

For the FNSEA, “the work must continue”, without “losing time”. “As soon as the law is promulgated, consultation with the representatives of the sectors and all the stakeholders will have to be committed within the commission responsible for the orientation and development of insurance”, declared the first agricultural organization in a statement.

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like