The Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Monday informed that the state government has started preparations for implementation of the crop insurance scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. A provision of Rs. 469.32 crore has been made for the same. Despite two successive years of drought, the State administration estimates crop production in the State to be around 95 per cent of the normal.
Insurance claims made by Maharashtra farmers against crop losses due to the severe drought in 2015-16 are estimated to touch Rs 4,100 crore, the highest since 1999. The sheer enormity of the claims indicates the distress faced by the agriculture sector in the state due to drought. According to data released during the review meeting for the upcoming kharif season, of the 1.36 crore farmers in the state, 83.37 lakh farmers who took insurance for their crops have sent claims worth Rs 4,100 crore only for the kharif season of 2015-16. Kharif crops on 43.46 lakh hectares were insured.
CPI (M) has demanded early compensation to the orchardists and farmers who suffered losses due to today’s devastating hailstorm in Anantnag, Kulgam and Kupwara. The party has alleged that whenever natural calamities cause damage to the fruit and crops, the worse affected are assured compensation and even surveys are conducted but no relief reaches to them. Calling for a comprehensive compensation for the farmers and orchardists who suffered extensive damages due to hailstorm, the party has urged the state government to go for immediate assessment of damages to fruit and standing crops and disburse financial relief to the affected families without any delay.
Over 20 mm rain accompanied by hailstones in parts of the Kumaon region, particularly in Munsiyari and Dharchula and hilly parts of Champawat district, last night led to road blocks, damaged vegetable crops and residential houses and also disrupted electricity supply. The unexpected rain continued for hours in these parts today. At Munsiyari, hailstones destroyed potato and wheat crops in the higher region. The affected farmers are demanding compensation from the government for the crop loss.
The state government has sent another proposal seeking Rs 2,017crore from the Union government for drought-hit areas and failed rabi crops. Revenue minister Eknath Khadse said on Saturday that the proposal was signed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday and sent to the Centre immediately. He said the CM has discussed the issue with home minister Rajnath Singh. Fadnavis had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi last week when he sought assistance for drought and affected rabi crops in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions. Speaking at a press conference in the city, Khadse said his government is taking all necessary steps to give maximum relief to farmers.
Assam’s tea sector has, of late, been facing the brunt of climate change in the form of extreme weather conditions — either a drought-like situation or high-intensity rainfall. The state’s tea sector, which had a good start this year with “above-normal” crop harvest in March, saw a dip in production the next month due to excessive rainfall. Industry sources say the dip in April’s production could be as high as 30-35 per cent and production of first flush (generally till April or mid-May) could be 34 million kg against 44 million kg produced in 2015. Many tea gardens in Brahmaputra valley battle the problem of water logging due to high intensity rainfall.
In the run-up to the monsoon and the new agricultural season, the authorities in the district are bracing up to expand crop insurance cover in the district. At present, less than 15 per cent of the nearly 3.7 lakh agricultural loanees in the district have crop insurance cover and hence the focus on widening the insurance net. District Lead Bank Manager K.N. Shivalingaiah said that a high-level meeting, chaired by the Deputy Commissioner and involving all senior level officials from different fields, including banks, Departments of Agriculture, Horticulture etc., will be convened in due course to finalise the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
A herd of elephants, which strayed into farms in Thathengalam, caused massive damage to the crops, leading to heavy loss to the farmers. The elephants, which enter the village during night have been straying into banana farms, paddy fields and homesteads, destroying crops. Yashoda Narayanan of Thazhatheveettil House at Thathengalam lost more than half of her 500 banana plants that were ready for harvest. Edakkudy Pushpan and Vazhipparamban Muhammed lost all their banana crop too. The villagers spotted a female elephant and her calf and tried driving them away.
The implementation of the crop insurance scheme in the country is crucial as there has been a steady rise in the suicide of farmers. Currently, 20 percent of the farmers and 23 percent of total cropped area in country has been insured. This information was given by the minister of state for agriculture Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya in Rajya Sabha on Friday. Through Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare is aiming to increase the insurance coverage of cropped area to 50 percent in next two to three years.
The farmers have demanded the government to pay compensation for the crop loss due to drought in the district. In a statement here on Sunday the Desheeya Karshaka Samajam general secretary Muthalamthode Mani said that farmers in the state have sustained a crop loss of nearly Rs 100 crore in the drought. In Palakkad district alone the crop loss is estimated at Rs 30 crore, he said.
In the Warangal district in the Indian state of Telangana, the farming community has been suffering from the effects of drought on their crops; now they have also been hit by untimely rains which descended on the district for the past three days. Mango orchards, banana plantations and vegetable cultivators have suffered huge losses because of the sudden rains and heavy gales. Horticulture officials are yet to assess the extent of damage across the district, but according to sources, horticultural crops on about 2,000 hectares have been damaged.
District collector Babu A has said that the crops will be insured under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna from Kharif - 2016 season. This will be a boon to farmers as the premium rates to be paid by farmers have been brought down to enable more farmers to avail themselves of the benefits of the scheme. In a statement on Sunday, the collector said the crop loss per hectare, if any, will be calculated and insurance will be paid paid accordingly to farmers.
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