CHENNAI: Enrolment of farmers for the crop insurance scheme - Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is on in full swing and by the month end, the agriculture department is hopeful of bringing 50 per cent of the Gross Cropped Area (GCA) under insurance cover for Paddy II. Till the end of the first week of this month, 4.87 lakh acres, belonging to 2.81 lakh farmers, have been covered against the target of 20.35 lakh acres.
Besides, the department is paying special attention to insure the crops of non-loanee farmers. Till now, of the 2.81 lakh farmers who have insured their crops, 98,448 are non-loanee farmers, officials said. They also said that the area covered under the scheme is increasing every year. In 2016-17, it stood at 30 per cent of GCA and it went up to 40 per cent in 2017-18 and during the current year, the target is 50 per cent of GCA.
When asked whether the target could be met within three weeks, official sources said certainly it could be achieved because only in the last three weeks, most of the farmers came forward for insuring their crops, despite full-blown awareness campaign by the department. By the first week of November, 2017, only 1.81 lakh acres was covered but this year, it has gone up to 4.87 acres.
As Samba paddy crop cultivation is getting a fillip invariably in all districts due to recent good showers and comfortable storage in major reservoirs, farmers cultivating paddy II (Samba/Thaladi/Pishanam) are being motivated to enrol themselves under PMFBY. “We have, so far, opened 1,522 facilitation centres - the one stop information centres for farmers to ensure bringing in targeted GCA area and the number of centres would go up in the coming days.”
There are 2,550 Common Service Centres to enrol non-loanee farmers. Over 8,500 awareness campaigns about the crop insurance scheme have been conducted so far among farmers on the crop insurance scheme. For the current year, the State government had sanctioned `632 crore towards payment of State share of premium subsidy to the insurance companies.
“We give priority to the crops in coastal districts and districts which are prone to natural disasters like flood and drought. Wherever the farmers face risks, we advise them to insure their crops at the earliest and not to wait for the risk to occur,” the officials said.The PMFBY is aimed at covering many risks faced by farmers, including failed sowing, prevented sowing, post harvest losses, localised calamities including cyclone, hail storm, landslide, unseasonal rain and inundation in isolated farm.
Target for crop insurance coverage for Paddy II (September to December): 50 per cent of Gross Cropped Area (20.35 lakh acres)
Amount sanctioned by government towards share of premium: Rs 632 crore
Area covered till November 7: 4.87 lakh acres, belonging to 2.81 lakh farmers
Of the 2.81 lakh farmers, 98,448 are non-loanee farmers
No. of facilitation centres: 1,522 (till November 7 and the number will go up)
No. of awareness campaigns conducted: Over 8,500 (will go on till November end)