Agri Business

Kerala to press for insurance cover for perennial crops

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on April 01, 2011

The State Government intends to fast-track a proposal for inclusion of perennial crops, especially the major ones among them, under the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS).

The list of crops, which includes pepper, coconut, rubber and cardamom, needs to be put up before the Centre for its consideration, according to a spokesman of the State-Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC).

NAIS SCHEME

The latest meeting of the SLBC had discussed the matter for expedited action. It has already been taken up with the Secretaries of the Agriculture and Finance Departments of the State Government.

NAIS is a scheme of the Government of India implemented by the Agriculture Insurance Company of India (AIC) with the active participation of the State Governments.

According to the current provisions under NAIS, the coverage of crops falls under three broad groups in respect of which the past yield data base on crop cutting experiments should be available for a prescribed number of years.

A requisite number of these experiments should also have been conducted for estimating the yield during the proposed season for which the cover is sought.

BROAD GROUPS

The three broad groups of crops covered under the scheme are food crops (cereals, millets and pulses), oilseeds, and sugarcane, cotton and potato (annual commercial/annual horticultural crops).

Subject to availability of past yields data, other annual commercial/annual horticultural crops will be covered over a period of the next three years.

However, the crops which need to be covered during a proposed year would have to be spelt out before the close of the preceding year, the provisions stipulate. Further, NAIS has also to comply with the operational modalities with regard to estimation of crop yield. Modification, if any, on this count falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Government of India.

MEETINGS CALLED

Department-level meetings are being arranged with the AIC to find a solution to the issue of coverage perennial crops from the State.

The AIC is yet to submit a formal proposal to the State Government, though. It has been on record saying that it is trying to evolve a new scheme outside of the NAIS to extend the insurance cover to these crops.

The SLBC has also been told that the Government of India is in the process of modifying the guidelines of the NAIS scheme.

Right time

This is a rare opportunity for the State Government and the SLBC to make the right moves and petition the Centre, the spokesman said.

On its part, the State Government has requested the AIC to submit a proposal immediately to enable it to fast-track it to the Centre. The SLBC too has made a similar request with the AIC, the spokesman added.





Published on April 01, 2011

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