THANJAVUR: Even as concerns were raised hardly ten days ago over only about 18% of the total area under samba and thalady paddy cultivation in the district being insured under the Union government scheme, the acreage under crop insurance cover increased almost seven-fold by November 15, which is the cut-off date for paying premium.
While the initial low coverage is attributed to farmers’ scepticism from last season’s experience, concerns over crop damage after the heavy downpour last week led them to avail of the scheme en masse, they said. As on November 7, samba and thalady cultivation over around 39,000 acres in the district were only insured under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
This shot up to 2.88 lakh acres on November 15. The figure of insured area would go up by around 10,000 acres as data entry by cooperative and scheduled commercial banks will go on for another week, officials pointed out. Samba and thalady crop acreage currently stands at 3,12,500 acres in the district.
Only seven of the 856 villages covered under the scheme during last samba season in the district becoming eligible for insurance claims is cited among the reasons for farmers’ hesitation to insure their crop. The situation, however, changed between November 7 and November 15, when around 2.5 lakh farmers insured their crop through common service centres (CSCs) and browsing centres, an Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department official told TNIE. S Kumaran, a farmer from Orathanadu, said farmers flocked to the CSCs as there was heavy rain on November 11, triggering fear of crop damage.
While officials point out that 1,03,654 farmers have insured 2,88,138 acres of paddy crop during this samba and thalady season, and expect the acreage to increase by another 10,000 acres, farmers point out that the final figure would still be less than last year's coverage. Last year’s coverage during samba, thalady season stood at 3.5 lakh acres, Kumaran points out. Farmers disappointed over less claims outflow last year for the loss incurred during samba season from the heavy rains could be a reason, he added.