DHENKANAL: With the district registering scanty rainfall, farmers have been making a beeline for PACS and the agriculture office to pay the premium to insure their kharif crops under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
Against a target of 24,000 non-loanee farmers, a whopping 85,060 have insured their paddy, groundnut and turmeric crops by July 31, the last date of submission of premium. Apprehending crop loss due to scanty rainfall, many farmers have been queuing to get their crops insured under the scheme ahead of the deadline.
Farmers who have taken crop loans are automatically covered under the scheme. So far, only 14,000 farmers have availed the kharif loan from banks against a target of 40,000.
Meanwhile, farmers have called for an extension of the deadline till August 15 for making the payment.
Sources said the district has recorded only 212.54 mm rainfall against requirement of 317 mm in July. As a result, agriculture activities have been delayed in Sadar, Kankadahada and Hindol blocks of the district. With crops having sustained damage of varying degrees, many farmers harbour fears about their yield. Farmers said as their paddy seedlings are getting older, it may not be fit for transplantation.
On the other hand, the district administration has reduced its paddy cultivation target from two lakh hectare to 1.5 lakh hectare. Sources said farmers need to pay a subsidised premium of Rs 1,950, Rs 1,048 and Rs 1,250 per hectare to get their turmeric, groundnut and paddy crops insured respectively.Deputy Director of Agriculture Chhabindra Behera said, “We have encouraged the farmers to insure their crops under the Central scheme to compensate the loss if any.”