In the recent crop-loss survey ordered by the state government, over 1.57 lakh farmers have come forward to file claims with insurance companies under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana where a premium of Rs 3,400 crore was paid this Kharif season.
“Till now over 1.57 lakh applications have been received from insured farmers who have lost their crops in the three days of unseasonal rain caused by cyclone Kyarr during October 28-30,” an agriculture department official told The Indian Express. The farmers who have filed claims are those whose crops have been adversely affected by the unseasonsal rain at the fag-end of the Kharif season. These applications from the farmers will be scrutinised by the insurance companies and a physical survey of the affected farms will be conducted. The agriculture department officials will be supporting the insurance companies in conducting the survey.
“Premiums have been partly paid by them (farmers) and partly by both central and state governments. They are largely farmers who have gone for bank credit,” the official added. The numbers of affected farmers is expected to rise as the agriculture department is expected to complete its own survey of losses faced by uninsured farmers in the next one week. This is the fourth survey the state government has ordered this Kharif season. The other surveys conducted during the months of August and twice during September calculated losses of Rs 150 crore.
“Those not insured will be covered under SDRF (State Disaster Response Fund) by the state government. If there is crop loss of more than 33 per cent, then a farmer having irrigation facilities will get a compensation of Rs 13,500 per hectare. This is limited to a maximum of two hectares. Un-irrigated farms will receive compensation of Rs 6,800 per hectare, up to a maximum of two hectares,” the official said, adding that farmers with 10-30 per cent crop losses will be not be considered for compensation.
There are about 50 lakh farmers in Gujarat of which 19 lakh have taken insurance under PMFBY during this Kharif season. “A total of Rs 3,400 crore has been paid as premium to insurance companies. Of this premium, Rs 400 crore has been paid directly by farmers, while Rs 3,000 crore has been paid on behalf of the farmers equally by the state and central governments,” the official said, adding that a total of 87 lakh hectares was planted by farmers this Kharif season.
Last year, 18 lakh farmers had taken insurance under PMFBY wherein a premium of Rs 2,960 crore was paid to insurance companies of which Rs 360 crore was paid by farmers and the rest by the two governments.
“Crops in an estimated 1.5 lakh hectares of agricultural land might have got damaged. A clear picture will emerge only after the survey is complete. The flowers of the cotton crop would have also got damaged. About 60-65 per cent of the groundnut crop was harvested before the rain happened. But the biggest impact is expected to be on paddy,” said an official, adding that farmers have complained of harvested groundnut crop turning black in colour due to the rain, and sprouting of groundnut too.