Data ready for hog mortality insurance plan

The oddsmaking work is complete on a hog mortality insurance program for Canada’s pork producers, which now moves to Manitoba for development of a pilot plan.

The industry-backed Canadian Swine Health Board said Monday it has “successfully completed” development work on a “viable insurance product” for the hog sector.

“The actuarial work is now in the hands of insurance companies, first-premium estimates are affordable and now we collectively need to figure out how to deliver the program,” board chairman Florian Possberg said in a release.

The Ontario Livestock and Poultry Council had started the development work on behalf of the Manitoba Pork Council, Ontario Pork and the Federation des producteurs de porcs du Quebec, the board saud,

The partners in the project came to the CSHB in early 2010 saying they had identified “strong interest” from farmers and insurance companies in creating such a product, but the risk assessments and actuarial work were needed, Possberg said.

The completion of the work to date marks both a milestone and “a significant innovation for the pork industry,” he said.

Manitoba Pork will now spearhead the insurance initiative, the board said.

The province’s Winnipeg-based pork producer agency has been tasked with exploring a “delivery mechanism and product offering,” modeled after crop insurance with similar federal/provincial cost-sharing agreements.

Manitoba is the “natural location” to take the planned program to the next step, the CSHB said, noting the province said last November it wants to develop insurance programs for its livestock industry.

The long-term goal, the board said, is “a program available nationally.”

At the provincial level, confidentiality agreements have already been signed by the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp., the province’s risk management and farm financing agency, according to Manitoba Pork general manager Andrew Dickson in the CSHB release.

Work is underway on “a number of fronts” to more clearly define what type of coverage can be offered, Dickson said.

“Once we have the details around that, we will proceed with developing a plan to make it available to producers.”

The Ottawa-based CSHB, set up in 2009 to act on health issues in Canada’s swine herd, is supported by members including the Canadian Pork Council, Canadian Meat Council, Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians, Canadian Association of Veterinary Colleges and Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement.

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