While the state government has implemented crop insurance scheme in the Jammu division a year ago, the fruit growers and farmers in Kashmir are still waiting for the same.
According to the official records, 1.4 lakh farmers in Jammu were insured under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), while none of the farmers in Kashmir have been brought under the scheme to give them cushion in times of natural calamities, like hailstorms, droughts, floods etc.
The lackadaisical approach of the government has resulted in huge losses as a heavy hailstorm on Tuesday damaged orchards and fruit trees.
However, farmers and fruit growers say there is no provision for them to get financial support as their crops are not insured.
The PMFBY, which was allocated to the whole state, has been implemented only in Jammu division, leaving Kashmir out.
Chairman of All Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Dealers Union (KVFGDU), Bashir Ahmad Basheer said farmers incurred losses worth crores of rupees in Pattan, Baramulla and Pulwama due to heavy hailstorm few days back.
Basheer said that they have repeatedly requested the government for implementation of the scheme. "Though the announcement of crop insurance scheme was made by the government but it is unfortunate that the said scheme is not implemented so far here."
KVFGDU urged government for immediate implementation of the crop insurance scheme.
Director agricultural production, Kashmir, Aijaz Andrabi, who is also the nodal officer for implementation of the crop insurance scheme, said that crop insurance scheme will roll out from February next year.
"Though we had issued tenders seven times for hiring insurance company, but due to lack of response we could not implement the scheme," he said adding that besides there were some technical difficulties in implementing Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), a key insurance scheme initiated by the Government of India (GoI).
"Government of JK has devised a separate insurance scheme to meet local requirement of crops," he said adding that cabinet has given nod to the scheme and it will be finalized in a month or two.
The Cabinet chaired by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti in March has accorded in principle sanction to the adoption of the Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) in respect of horticulture crops namely apple, saffron, mango and litchi for the State of Jammu and Kashmir in addition to "Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana" (PMFB) as per the operational guidelines of the scheme circulated by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Government of India w.e.f Kharif 2016 and for implementation in the state by the Agriculture Production Department.
Cabinet directed the Agriculture Production Department to concretise the scheme in consultation with the Finance and the Planning Development & Monitoring Department before its final roll out.
WBCIS uses weather parameters as "proxy" for crop yields in compensating the cultivators for deemed crop losses. Pay-out structures are developed to the extent of losses deemed to have been suffered using the weather triggers.
The objective of WBCIS is to provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crop as a result of adverse weather incidences including deficit rainfall, excess rainfall, unseasonal rains, dry-spell, wind, etc.