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India - Coconut farmers urged to insure trees

The agriculture department has asked coconut farmers to get their trees insured before the last date to avail of compensation in case of crop loss due to natural calamities such as cyclone and drought or pest and insect attacks.

Farmers who had not shown much interest in insuring their crops under the Pradhan Mantri Faisal Bima Yojna (PMFBY), had started coming forward in large numbers to register their names after cyclone Gaja devastated the livelihood of farmers in the delta districts in November. However, the awareness among the farmers in Trichy district was not adequate, said officials. Farmers have raised coconut trees on 15,377 acres across the district. Marungapuri block has the highest share of trees, on 4,620 acres and Lalgudi the lowest, on 550 acres, the officials said.

Farmers can insure up to 175 trees on a hectare and remit 25% of the insurance premium. Of the remaining amount, 25% would be borne by the state government and the remaining 50% by the coconut board. Farmers need remit Rs 2.25 only for a tree aged between 4 and 15 years but they will be disbursed Rs 900 per tree as the sum assured.

For trees aged between 16 and 60 years, farmers should remit Rs 3.50 as premium per tree but will get Rs 1,750 as the sum assured in the event of any loss, deputy director of agriculture (state scheme) S Rajeshwaran said. Coconut farmers should approach agriculture extension centres and submit their applications attaching the demand draft bearing Agricultural Insurance Company of India Limited, Chennai, he added.

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