BENGALURU: Awareness about crop insurance schemes is very low in Karnataka, with only about 12 per cent of farmers getting insurance for the Kharif season 2013-2014.
These were the findings of a report discussed at a meeting organised by the Department of Agriculture. The meeting, attended by farmers, NGOs and other government organisations, was called to discuss initiatives and recommendations to improve the schemes. It was presided over by Dr T N Prakash Kammaradi, chairman of the Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission.
Farmers at the meeting expressed disappointment with the results of the crop insurance schemes.
Srikantha from Mandya district said, “No one is aware of these crop insurance schemes. We paid premium amounts of more than Rs 1 lakh but have not received any insurance so far.”
The meeting recommended measures to improve the reach of the schemes so that they could help farmers. These are:
■ A committee would be created with convenors of State Level Bankers’ Committee, directors of horticulture and agriculture departments and two NGOs to give publicity to insurance schemes.
■ To set up web portals about crop insurance in Kannada.
■ To come out with a handbook on experiences.
There are two types of crop insurance schemes in the state - a modified national insurance scheme, and weather-based insurance scheme. The former is yield-based and the latter weather-based. The schemes cover all crops in all districts during the Kharif season. Farmers have to pay the insurance premium in banks along with a certified copy of area sown issued by the village accountant.
■ A documentary in Kannada to popularise crop insurance schemes among farmers.
■ Creating awareness on damage to crops by wild animals.