Third-generation grain grower Michael Foss has seen first-hand the benefits of crop insurance in other countries and believes the potential benefits for WA are huge.
Mr Foss, who travelled to the US, Canada and eastern Europe on a Nuffield scholarship two years ago, was among a group of farmers who met Swiss Re boss Bernard Belk in Bruce Rock last week.
The 41-year-old, who farms 12,000ha at Bruce Rock with his two younger brothers, said Swiss Re faced a big challenge in coming up with a competitive price for WA growers, given it did not have the government backing that kept a lid on crop insurance premiums in many countries.
Swiss Re is hoping broad acceptance of the insurance scheme will diversify its risk and allow it to keep premiums down.
Mr Foss said that while cost would be a key factor for growers, the time was right to restore industry confidence.
"In principle, it would be a fantastic way forward for agriculture in WA to have it available," he said.
"It is no secret that most farming businesses over the past 10 years have been subject to fairly harsh conditions and seen erosion in equity levels.
"Anything that could at least reduce the risk and give lending institutions some confidence in lending money will be of huge benefit. In some cases banks will probably say we will lend you the money if you take out this policy."
Mr Foss said it was a tragedy that in the past 10 years farmers "10 times better" than him had walked away from the industry.
He said having a safety net on potential losses would change attitudes in the industry."It will give the younger guys in the industry confidence to go out and expand their business which in turn allows the older guys to exit the industry," he said. "At the moment the attitude of most blokes is batten down the hatches and reduce risk, which means you are not going to buy or rent more land."
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