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The Southern India Mills’ Association

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85% of pest-hit cotton fields uninsured, aid may be halved

With crops on nearly 85% of the pest-affected cotton fields in the state not being insured, 27.6 lakh loss-stricken farmers are facing a double whammy. They will not only miss out on relief under the crop insurance scheme, but also get only half the compensation from the National Disaster Response Fund(NDRF) compared to those with crop insurance.
Cotton farmers are facing a crisis following a major pest attack on standing crops. The resistance of genetically modified seeds to pest attack has failed, triggering the crisis. Nearly 96% of cotton farmers in Maharashtra use genetically modified seeds.
According to data collated by TOI from different departments, cotton is cultivated on 43 lakh hectares. And crops on 34.56 lakh hectares have been ravaged by pink bollworm—a major pest— affecting the last crop picking season. Of this, only 5.38lakh hectares (15%) has been insured. According to the data, of the 34.39 lakh farmers affected, only 6.99 lakh (20%) have crop insurance. Officials say that under the Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme, the premium that a farmer has to pay is 2% of the loan amount sanctioned for the season, the rest is borne by the state and the Centre. The scheme has an indemnity coverage up to 70% of the loss. “Small and marginal farmers feel the premium is very high and some terms and conditions are absurd. Many feel the premium amount would go waste,” said a senior official.
The Moral of these Insurance Business Story is to be better Insured than sorry IF NOT and Govt trying to offer such Insurance for these farmers and NOT accepting is NEVER forced BUT LOSS is NATIONAL … Read MoreSuresh Kamath. The state government has a sent a proposal to the Centre seeking Rs 2,425 crore compensation to farmers under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). Nearly Rs 2,100 crore of this is for cotton farmers and the remaining for farmers who suffered losses due to the cyclone Ockhi. Officials said farmers who have not taken insurance would be given half the compensation as compared to farmers who had insured their crops.
Farmers who have insured their crop can get insurance compensation up to Rs 8,000 per hectare, up to 70% of the loss. Under NDRF, compensation is given up to two hectares of area. For non-irrigated land NDRF compensation is capped at Rs 6,800 per hectare, and it is Rs 13,500 per hectare of irrigated land. Insured farmers can get insurance amount as well as the NDRF compensation depending on the type of land they cultivate on.