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POST CYCLONE GAJA, MORE FARMERS PLUMP FOR CROP INSURANCE SCHEME

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Trichy: If cyclone Gaja has had a positive effect on farmers it is by prompting many among them to pay their crop insurance premium on time and perhaps persuading many who had dithered to join the scheme. It may be worth remembering that farmers from across the delta districts had not shown much interest in registering their names under Pradhan Mantri Faisal Bima Yojna during the last two years citing various reasons since it was launched during 2016.

These included non-disbursal of claims, absence of proper monitoring authorities to check with insurance companies and a number of anomalies in the claims. However, cyclone Gaja which devastated the livelihood of the delta districts has become an eye-opener for many as more farmers have come forward to pay their insurance premium for the year 2018-19 when compared to the last two years. The affected farmers had been demanding extension of the last date to pay their premium from November 30 to December. Figures show that the number of farmers and their holdings coming under the scheme have surpassed those of the previous year, agriculture department officials in delta districts opined.

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The figures (see graphic) have been compiled based on the enumeration taken on November 30, the last date for paying the premium amount. Since the final data will be available only on December 15, the figures are expected to go up as data from nationalized banks and a few cooperative societies is yet to arrive, officials further stated.

Among the delta districts, Tiruvarur stands first for the third consecutive year in enrolling farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Faisal Bima Yojna, the crop insurance scheme launched to cover risks involved in farming. According to data, the number of farmers who paid their premium for crop insurance during the current year was 1.64 lakh against 1.44 lakh during last year. Tiruvarur district secretary of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, affiliated to CPI, P S Masilamani claimed that farmers in Tiruvarur, which was a communist-dominated district, were well informed. “Moreover, the district administration has also worked hard to bring more farmers under the scheme”, he added.

In the case of Thanjavur district, the number of farmers enrolled under the scheme had gone up to 1.22 lakh from 77,600 last year, officials said.

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