Farmers turn away from crop insurance

Loss assessment method acts as a deterrent

The district has about 59,500 small farmers and 1.45 lakh marginal farmers. While 2,904 submitted application for insuring their crops in Mulbagal taluk, it was only 307 in Bangarpet (only one of them had availed crop loan), and a mere 12 in Kolar. None had opted for crop insurance in Srinivaspur and Malur taluk.

The Agriculture Department provides insurance from irrigated and rain-dependent paddy, ragi, groundnut, toor and horsegram only. The response to crop insurance scheme is lukewarm, despite majority of farmrers in the district growing these crops. The benefit is available to potato amongst horticultural crops.

One of the reasons for the scheme not gaining popularity is the method adopted to assess the crop damage. Under the prevailing method, each hobli is considered as a unit. The average yield over a period of five years is determined through a survey, which forms the basis to arrive at the quantum of crop loss.

Premium, a burden

The pitfall of this method is that it some hoblis could be left out of the ambit of the scheme, despite there being farmers who have suffered crop loss. Thus, several farmers consider payment of premium as an unnecessary expenditure.

Agriculture Department Joint Director C Chikkanna told Deccan Herald that even while considering a hobli as a unit, the survey is conducted only at selected places, on the basis of which crop loss would be estimated. Thus, the the benefit of the scheme may not be available even though there are farmers who have, in reality, sustained crop loss.
“It requires lot of money, manpower and time to carry out an extensive survey so as to ensure that the benefit is available to all farmers. And, there are possibilities of a delay disbursing the insured sum in this case,” he said. However, he also disclosed that there has been a proposal to conduct a survey considering a Gram Panchayat as a unit.

Chikkanna, however, suggested farmers to avail the facility so that they can make up the loss in the event of crop loss at the hobli level.

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