KOZHIKODE: While Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) cautions ‘a below average rainfall’ in state during the South-West (SW) monsoon, state Agriculture Department hopes to popularise crop insurance policies for cultivators as the part of contingency plan.
Following an incessant rainfall that was recorded last week in various parts of the state, the department has commenced the collection of ‘First Information Report’ for crop losses which ensued.
“We are collecting First Information Reports of crop losses that followed the heavy rainfalls last week,” said Haridas, Deputy Principal Agricultural Officer in Kozhikode. According to the officials at IMD in Thiruvananthapuaram, ‘heavy rainfall’ was recorded in all districts except Kollam during the last two months. Kollam recorded a rainfall of 210.8 mm and other districts recorded a rainfall over 337.3 mm in the last two months. IMD has predicted ‘excess’ rainfall in all parts of the state till Sunday. As IMD observed below average rainfall with onset of South-West monsoon due to the impact of El Nino effect over the Pacific, experts opined that it is likely to have an impact on state’s agriculture sector. IMD has predicted SW monsoon to hit Kerala shore on June 1.
“Warning on below average rainfall during the monsoon is worrisome. We have sent out message to farmers regarding it. We are trying to educate the farmers on the benefits of crop insurance system which has been initiated by Government of India (GOI),” said Ranjini, Principal Agricultural Officer in Kozhikode. Crop insurances are currently issued by National Insurance and the state agriculture department. “More farmers should come forward to buy crop insurance. Crop insurance is based on weather changes and hence that would be the best plan contingency plan as of now,” said Siva Prasad, Additional Director of Agriculture. In case of crop failure due to climate changes, insurance amount will be issued to farmers after weather station data on climate changes are interpreted. Crop insurance by state agriculture department will cover 12 crops, which will include rice and vegetables.
On Thursday, the government secretary for Agriculture will convene a meeting of all officials in the department to discuss the other contingency plans. The meeting will also moot the coverage of tuber crops in the in crop insurance issued by the agriculture department.
Crop insurance is something that should be collectively welcomed by the farmer fraternity. Agricultural scientists have always suggested crop insurance,” said Dr. Jayaprakash CA, head of the Crop Protection Unit at Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI). He added that measures like crop insurance would encourage farmers to face adverse situations wherein they are forced to uproot crops following viral attacks on tuber crops.