Haryana’s decision to adopt the Prime Minister’s Fasal Bima Yojana to insure crops may have run into rough weather with the Opposition parties and farmers’ unions opposing it tooth and nail, but that hasn’t deterred the state from setting a target of 40 per cent insurance coverage.
Sources in the state Agriculture Department said against a traditional insurance coverage of 15 to 20 per cent, as seen in the last few years, the PMFBY is likely to cover nearly 40 per cent of over 16 lakh farmers in the state.
The Government of India has set a target of 50 per cent coverage in three years.Given the varied climatic conditions and crop patterns, Haryana has adopted the scheme for eight major crops, including wheat, paddy, maize, cotton and mustard.
Among these eight crops that Haryana has chosen, 80 per cent of the kharif crop and 90 to 95 per cent of the rabi crop will be insured in Haryana, a senior officer of the Agriculture Department said, maintaining the loanee farmers had to take the scheme compulsorily since banks wanted an insurance cover for loans given.
While the premium in the state ranges between 2 to 3.5 per cent, officials of the Agriculture Department explain that the farmer will have to deposit a premium of 2 per cent only, while the rest will be shared by the Haryana Government and the Government of India.
In case of crop damage, thec will take care of 90 per cent of the value of the crop, the department maintains.
For the purpose of the insurance scheme, the department has divided Haryana into three clusters with the idea of clubbing different crops and climatic conditions in one zone.
The idea behind dividing the state into clusters was to get maximum coverage for the state, while offering the insurance companies a bouquet of areas so that risk-assessment is uniform.
This was designed to make it an attractive option, since the companies would have been cautious about extending the cover in areas with higher risk potential where irrigation and power supply is poor and the climatic conditions are less conducive, an officer explained.
Though Haryana, essentially, has assured irrigation in 85 per cent of the state and power availability in most places, there are very few pockets that qualify as potential high-risk areas.
This prompted the state to opt for yield-based insurance scheme over a weather-based one. Though the officers admit there are a few grey areas since the scheme is very new, sources maintain that these will be taken care of in due course of time.
BKU takes out march, demands ‘friendly’ policy Karnal: Farmers under the banner of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) (Sewa Singh Arya faction) today held a kisan mahapanchayat at Karan Park against the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
Terming the scheme as anti-farmers, they took out a procession in the city to highlight their plight.
They handed over a memorandum to DC Mandeep Brar at Mini-Secretariat and demanded a farmer-friendly policy.
Sewa Singh Arya, state president of the BKU, led the mahapanchayat and said the government had been implementing the policies to loot the farmers.
The government should revoke the decision and the crop damage should be assessed at the acre level, not the village level, Arya demanded.
The government should include the tubewell, transformer theft, death of farmer due to any farm-related cause in it, he said. He accused the government of playing into the hands of private insurance companies.