Agri Business

Maharashtra farmers continue to wait for compensation of damaged crops

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on December 23, 2019 Published on December 23, 2019

A farmer shows his damaged paddy crop following heavy rains, at a village in Karad, Maharashtra   -  PTI

Three months after untimely downpour in October damaged kharif crops on over 70 lakh hectare, farmers in Maharashtra continue to wait for compensation from insurance companies.

“Farmers have not received crop insurance compensation. In fact, we have lost faith in insurance companies as we have had a bad experience with them in the last three years,” said Ankur Mane, a farmer from Satara.

Affected crops

Rains damaged soybean, cotton, banana, onion, potato and sugarcane crops. The government had ordered that insurance companies conduct damage assessment and offer compensation to farmers.

However, insurance companies have not responded to the order. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has written to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to intervene in the matter. Thackeray has demanded that the Centre direct the insurance companies to pay compensation to Maharashtra farmers as the companies are not responding to the State government’s demand.

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“The State has been implementing the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna effectively since 2016. Unseasonal rains in October-November have damaged crops in a big way and reports have been given to insurance companies. Till date, the insurance companies have not paid the insurance amount to farmers as per the guidelines. The Agriculture Minister must take a review of the same and direct the insurance companies to resolve the issuem” Thackeray said in the letter.

Thackeray also said that the insurance companies have taken an ‘apathetic’ approach to 2019 rabbi season as well. Insurance companies have not participated in the tendering process in ten districts despite repeated efforts. Farmers in these districts will be deprived of insurance cover if the companies continue to play truant.

Paltry sums

Earlier, the insurance companies had provided compensation ranging from ₹1 to 5 to farmers in Maharashtra. But, instead of scrutinising the companies’ way of assessment, the Maharashtra government led by Devendra Fadnavis decided to shell out money from its coffers.

The government decided to pay ₹1,000 to farmers who received compensations of less than ₹1,000. The State issued a government resolution (GR) announcing that it would shoulder the burden of the amount paid to farmers.

Published on December 23, 2019
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