Jammu and Kashmir govt to insure farm production

Invites bids for Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme
Representational Pic
Representational Pic

Jammu and Kashmir Government has decided to introduce 'Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS)' to insulate farmers against losses incurred due to 'adverse weather incidences.'

An official said that "thedecision to launch the scheme was taken after 7 November snowfall which causedmore than 30 percent loss to apple—Kashmir's main cash crop." Theadministration in this regard has invited bids from all reputed insurancecompanies to insure notified crops in horticulture and agriculture sectors,including apple, litchi, mango and saffron, cultivated in 20 districts acrossthe Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Bids/offers are invited from all insurance companiesregistered with Government of India for submission of their district wise,crop-wise actuarial premium rate in percent of sum insured (financial bid) as perthe prescribed format for carrying out implementation of Restructured WeatherBased Crop Insurance Scheme in respect of J&K for the period of threeyears," reads the bid document.

According to the document, weather perils are to be coveredunder this scheme, which are inflicting huge losses to the farm sector. "…major weather perils which are deemed to cause ' adverse weather incidence'leading to crop loss , shall be covered under the scheme , rainfall – deficitrainfall, excess rainfall,  unseasonal rainfall,rainy days, dry spells, dry days. Temperature – high temperature (heat), lowtemperature, relative humidity, wind speed, a combination of the all," readsthe document.

The government has set 6 December as the final day forfinalization of bids.

Mission Director, PMFBY, RWBCIS, Altaf Aijaz said that "Cropinsurance scheme would cover all farmers cultivating notified crops in notifiedareas of J&K UT. All farmers including those who have availed loan facilityor not from any of the financial institutions can avail benefits of this cropinsurance scheme."

Pertinently, prior to abrogation of Article 370, erstwhileState Government of Jammu and Kashmir had approved weather based insurancescheme for farmers as the Central insurance scheme—Pradhan Mantri Fasal BimaYojana (PMFBY)—didn't cover the cash crops of J&K and other losses incurredby farmers due to adverse weather conditions.

Horticulture backbone of Kashmir economy

In Kashmir, horticulture continues to be backbone of theeconomy contributing annually over Rs 10,000 crore to the region.

As per the data analyzed by Greater Kashmir, Fruitindustry has shown significant growth as the fruit production has gone up by 14lakh metric tones in past 18 years, similarly the area under fruit productionhas too witnessed spurt by 1.1 lakh hectares.

According to official figures of the government, the areaunder production of fruits in Jammu and Kashmir is currently 3.31 lakh hectareswhile in 2001 it was just 2.21 thus an increase of 1.1 lakh hectares.

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