PMFBY claims settlement likely soon: Agri minister

Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda hoped that insurance companies would accept the decision of the technical committee which heard the cases to settle around Rs 140 crore claims under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), which are not paid to farmers due to technical problems and objections, through arbitration.

"The committee is expected to submit its report within 15 days. Around Rs 140 crore pending claims related to cotton and chilli crops would be paid if the insurance companies accept the report. The payment would be delayed if the insurance companies appeal to the Union Government," he said.

Out of Rs 944 crore claims, Rs 770 crore is paid to farmers. In addition to Rs 140 crore claims kept pending due to dispute, payment of around Rs 25 crore is pending due to bank account-related errors, he said, adding that steps are taken to ensure speedy payment from this year, as the process to hear objections would be speeded up.

The minister told media persons here on Friday evening that, spending around Rs 1,000 crore including Rs 700 crore NABARD loan, the government is doubling the warehouse capacity across the State from 13 lakh tonnes in 2013 to 26 lakh tonnes in 2018.

More warehouses

Out of around 73 lakh hectares of farming land in the State, organic crops are being grown on one lakh hectares of land, while crops on 50,000 more acres of land are under conversion to organic. To promote this, market link is also being arranged for organic farmers, he said.

As introducing crop zoning is not practical, the government is promoting food grains through incentives. We are positive about getting the Union Government's permission to procure groundnut at minimum support price (MSP), but MSP for maize is doubtful, he noted.

University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in Dharwad has conducted a study on the impact of Krishi Bhagya (farm pond) scheme on crop yield and farmers' income, Mr Krishna Byre Gowda added.

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