india

‘Rectify shortcomings in crop insurance scheme’

It favours insurance companies rather than farmers, says federation

The Federation of Farmers Associations of Cauvery Delta Districts on Thursday urged the Centre to address certain shortcomings in the Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme (PMFBY) Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.

There are many shortcomings in the scheme, which favoured insurance companies rather than farmers, it contended.

Raising the issue through a representation at the farmers’ grievances meeting at Mayiladuthurai, federation general secretary Arupathy Kalyanam urged the Prime Minister to fix the base compensation under the scheme at 20% of the insured amount so as to safeguard the interest of farmers.

He alleged that over the past five years, only 28% of farmers who had insured their crop received compensation and suggested implementation of a new incentive-linked crop insurance scheme to ensure that farmers got at least 20% of the insured amount as compensation. The crop insurance scheme should be implemented by the government as a social obligation without being viewed as a business.

Referring to the sanction of compensation to farmers in Tamil Nadu for the 2020-21 samba season, Mr. Kalyanam claimed that insurance companies had mopped up a crop insurance premium of ₹3,176.53 crore from 13.01 lakh farmers, but paid compensation of ₹1,597 crore to about six lakh farmers. Farmers got a maximum compensation of 19%.

He demanded that the last date for insuring samba/thaladi crops for the current season be extended up to November 30 from November 15. The transplantation would not be completed before November 15 in the delta and farmers should be allowed to insure the crop till the end of the month as was the practice earlier.

In her address, Mayiladuthurai Collector R. Lalitha said kuruvai paddy harvest had been completed on about 97,825 acres and samba paddy was expected to be raised on about 1.62 lakh acres in the district. So far, samba paddy had been raised on 33,863 acres under direct sowing and on another 1.31 lakh acres through transplantation.

Adequate quantity of fertilizer stocks was available in the district, she said, according to a press release.

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