Agri Business

Now, millets covered under crop insurance scheme in Kerala

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on October 08, 2020

For the first time in Kerala, millet crops have secured a place in the Restructured Weather based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) implemented by Agriculture Insurance Company of India.

As per the recommendations of the farming community, the State Level Coordination Committee on Crop Insurance (SLCCCI) has notified millets which include Sorghum (cholam), Finger Millet (Ragi/Koovaragu), Pearl Millet (Bajra/Kambu), Proso Millet (Panivaragu), Barnyard Millet (Kavadappullu), Foxtail Millet (Thina) and Little Millet (Chama) for the scheme.

RWBCIS, being implemented in Kerala under PMFBY since Kharif 2016, has recently incorporated several farmer-friendly changes, inclusion of new crops under the scheme being the major one. The progress is being carefully monitored by the farmers and the technical experts to verify its results during Kharif and subsequent Rabi seasons, an official of AIC said.

The crop-specific insurance covers notified for millets are deficit rainfall (July-August), rise in day temperature (June-August) and unseasonal excess rainfall (May-September). The farmers are also eligible for claims assessed at individual field levels for the perils of inundation, high wind speed and landslides, the official said.

“It is a welcome decision to promote millet farming considering the climate change impacts and nutritional attributes. The decision can persuade the farmers in other parts of Kerala also, to further extend the area under farming of these super food crops, Indira Devi, former Director of Research, Kerala Agricultural University told BusinessLine.

Millets in Kerala are cultivated on 284 hectares in Palakkad and Idukki. Jowar is the main millet (174 ha) which is grown only Palakkad, producing nearly 139 tonnes. The total production of Ragi is 110 tonnes both in Palakkad and Idukki. These are mainly grown by the tribes in these places. The Kerala government has launched massive programmes for the promotion of millet cultivation in Attappadi area as these are ideal crops for hardy situation normally grown under rain-fed conditions.

Since the crop is grown mainly by the tribal communities, the role of institutional support mechanism is also very important for them to enjoy the benefits of the scheme, she added.

Published on October 08, 2020

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