With shortage of cash to pay labourers for harvesting, fertilisers, pesticides and transportation, banana plantation farmers in the erstwhile Warangal district are grappling with after effects of demonetisation. The demonetisation has hit banana growers and traders as prices of the fruit have fallen sharply as farmers seek to sell their produce quickly. If on one hand they are facing problems in arranging cash for labourers, on the other hand fertilisers and pesticide dealers are not accepting higher denomination notes making their work even more difficult.
A GPS-enabled application will soon be keeping an eye on the damages suffered by farmers due to reasons like natural calamity or wild animals. The application, christened ‘mobile halris’ and is currently being used in five villages of Panchkula, will cover the whole state by March. Once it is done, crop loss claims will be settled on the basis of ground report prepared by the patwari concerned. Currently, claims are settled on the basis of the statement of patwaris, who in the past have been under the scanner for favouring their aides and getting hefty compensation for the favour.
More than 79,447 farmers of Bheden block under Bargarh district have been deprived of crop insurance of nearly Rs 217 crore in Kharif season of last year, sources said. The farmers deposited the insurance premium, but they have not availed insurance against crop loss yet. The reason is cited to be the negligence of the Revenue Department officials. RIs and Tehsildars have not submitted their report regarding this, alleged Utparnna Bhoi, a farmer leader.
A week after two farmers from Erode committed suicide, 500 turmeric farmers from the district blocked Kodumudi Road on Wednesday morning demanding the release of water from the Kalingarayar Canal and compensation for crop losses. Their crops have dried up due to the failure of monsoon. Besides, officials abruptly stopped releasing water after 28 days, they said. Many of them are in debt and hence urged the government to provide compensation for crop losses.
Odisha Chief Minister today distributed crop insurance benefits among the 2015 drought affected farmers in Bargarh district. The farmers were agitating since a long time demanding crop insurance benefits following massive crop loss due to drought during the 2015 kharif season. Minister said a total 11.61 lakh farmers across the state will receive Rs 1,776 crore as crop insurance for Kharif season of 2015.
A total of 11.61 lakh farmers across the State will receive Rs 1,776 crore as crop insurance for Kharif season of 2015, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said today. Addressing a gathering during his visit to Bargarh district, he said more than one lakh farmers in the district will get Rs 276 crop insurance in coming days. While farmers in Sambalpur district will receive Rs 100 crore, cultivators in Kalahandi and Balangir districts will get Rs 166 crore and more than Rs 370 crore respectively, the chief minister noted.
The Centre is planning to roll out a crop insurance scheme for small tea growers. Initially, a pilot will be run in three regions in Assam, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu for one crop-cycle spread over two years commencing 2016-17. The Tea Board would be the nodal agency for the scheme and the cost will be shared between the Centre, the state governments and the growers in the ratio of 75:15:10. However, the growers would have to pick up the state government’s tab in case the government declines to contribute its share.
With 50% of the crops damaged owing to scarce rainfall in Dharwaddistrict, the administration has submitted a detailed report to the state government, seeking adequate funds to tackle drought. Out of the 2.97 lakh hectares of sowingarea, crops on about 1.40 lakh hectares have been destroyed. The district has received only 368.3mm of rainfall instead of the expected 497.7mm during monsoon.
On Monday the familiar queues were back outside banks, and ATMs ran out of cash across the country. Easing norms for cash-strapped farmers, the Finance Ministry on Monday permitted them to use old Rs 500 notes for purchasing seeds from any state or central government outlets and agri universities. This is in addition to the decision taken earlier for making cash available with the farmers by permitting them to draw up to Rs 25,000 per week from their KYC compliant accounts subject to the normal loan limits and conditions apart from the other facilities announced last week.
The insurance companies authorised by the state government to insure crops under the Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY) will have windfall profits of over Rs 230 crore for this year’s kharif crops. The companies received Rs 252.35 crore as premium, but sources said that the tentative amount they would have to pay as claims to farmers was less than Rs 20 crore.
Demonetization has paralyzed the activities of Primary Agriculture Credit Cooperative Societies (PACCS) across the state, restricting farmers from going about routine business including the remittance of premium for crop insurance. Since PACCS are not accepting the old notes, farmers have appealed to the state government to pay the entire premium for crop insurance on behalf of farmres, irrespective of the crop they have raised. The farming community in the delta region is already in great distress due to the scarcity of water.
The Chief Secretary, Aditya Prasad Padhi on Thursday informed that the Central Government has provided Rs 800 crores as central assistance in crop insurance to the farmers affected by last year’s drought in Odisha. The received crop insurance will be disbursed to farmers as soon as it possible, said Aditya Padhi.
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