Four years ago, when the government unveiled the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), the crop insurance scheme, general insurance companies saw it as a big opportunity. Bulk of the premium was to come directly from the Centre as well as states. Customer acquisition costs were almost nil as states along with banks were sharing data of farmers.
The government is likely to disburse over Rs 10,000 crore to farmers across the country by April 20 as compensation for the loss of kharif crop, which got damaged due to excessive rains in October and November last year. Farmers are likely to be paid in their bank accounts under the PM Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
The 21-day nationwide lockdown coincides with peak harvest season of Rabi (winter-sown) crops in many parts of the country, triggering demand for some regulated exemptions for farmers and farm laborers so that they don't lose their produce. The crops of wheat, gram, mustard and lentils are ready for harvest in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and other parts in central India.
Due to unseasonal storm and rain, crops including pulses, oilseeds, and vegetables have suffered a lot of damage. Farmers have to suffer a lot due to this unprecedented hailstorm and rainfall across Indian states. Moreover, the crop of pulses and oilseeds was damaged at a time when the farmer was about to harvest the crops, or at a time when the capital has been spent from sowing to harvesting.
In Uttar Pradesh, the largest tuber producing state in India, potato prices have spiked around 50%, as abnormally high rains this month have damaged crops and affected harvesting in the country. Prices are rising in other states as well, as traders anticipate lower-than-expected output in India, which in fact is the largest potato producing country after China.
A recent heavy downpour has flattened wheat plants in several districts of Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. Farmers worried about damage and quality of wheat output after harvest due to untimely rains in North India. Farmers faced yet another challenge due to heavy rain accompanied by winds throughout last week.
The Kodagu district which was devastated by last year’s floods lost crops grown in over 86,000 hectares due to the floods. Maintaining that crop loss compensation has been directly credited to the bank accounts of the affected farmers through software specially developed for the purpose, Patil said that compensation has been paid in accordance with the guidelines for crop relief.
Even a limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan may lead to global starvation because of a famine, unmatched in modern history, eclipsing every historic drought and volcanic eruptions say a new study released. The research conducted by 19 scientists in Europe and the US has suggested that the climate and crop impacts of such a nuclear exchange would lead to unprecedented food shortages affecting at least 71 countries.
"We may escape coronavirus but not the impact of the other disaster (unseasonal rains and hailstorms) which struck us last week," said Subhash Chaudhary, who, like other farmers in the north, suffered heavy damage to standing crops on Saturday even as 31 districts of Uttar Pradesh faced the wrath of the weather this month.
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