Tribune News Service
Jammu, July 5
As Jammu and Kashmir is yet to implement the Centre-sponsored Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), thousands of cultivators will be sowing kharif crop without insurance cover this year too.
The crop insurance scheme had to be rolled out during the kharif season, which starts with the arrival of monsoon, but the project is still entangled in paper work.
Official sources said the agricultural department had neither notified the crops nor defined the areas to be covered during the season as per the operational guidelines of the PMFBY. The scheme was to cover 10% of the area during the first phase starting in 2016-17.
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January, the programme was approved for J&K in March. However after the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government took charge of the state, the process to implement the scheme slowed down.
“Other states completed the process in May while J&K is still collecting the basic data. The kharif season has started and how will the cultivators benefit if the plan is further delayed,” said Tejinder Singh, a farmer from RS Pura and president of the J&K Flower Growers Association.
In the absence of the insurance cover, a majority of the farmer are unable to utilise mobile apps like Crop Insurance, Bhuvan Hailstorm and AgriMarket. The scheme proposes mandatory use of remote sensing, smart phones and drones for quick estimation of crop loss to speed up claims, but no progress has been made on the technical front too.
Under the scheme, cultivators have to pay a uniform premium of only 2% for all kharif crops and 1.5 per cent for all rabi crops to gain insurance against natural calamities, pests and diseases, a major risk these days.
When contacted, Nodal Officer of the Centre-sponsored agricultural schemes in J&K Altaf Andrabi claimed that the groundwork for the project had been completed and it would be launched soon. “We are expecting to start the scheme by August and a massive awareness drive will be launched. The government is quite serious about the scheme”, Andrabi said.
Once put on the ground, the scheme could provide major relief to the farming community against losses.
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