Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government will be launching a special drive to provide insurance coverage to farmers against potential crop damage.
The drive, slated to begin from the first week of July by the agriculture department, will be flagged off by Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi.
It will cover those development blocks which have lower farm insurance coverage under the Centre’s ambitious PM Crop Insurance Scheme (PMCIS).
According to UP government sources, till date, compensation of Rs 3,074.6 crore has been deposited in the accounts of 27.5 lakh farmers in UP under PMCIS.
This includes payment of crop compensation of Rs 654.8 crore to over 7 lakh farmers in Kharif season 2021. In Rabi 2021-22, an area of 14.2 lakh hectares has been insured by 19.9 lakh farmers.
According to a directive issued by additional chief secretary, agriculture, Devesh Chaturvedi, the drive would cover selected development blocks in the eight aspirational districts – Bahraich (Risia block), Shravasti (Sirsia), Balrampur (Utraula), Siddharth Nagar (Latan), Fatehpur (Bijaipur), Chitrakoot (Ramnagar) and Chandauli (Niyamtabad).
The value of damage incurred to crops in UP more than doubled between 2018-19 and 2019-20, as per Union agriculture ministry data.
Prepared on the basis of state-wise business statistics as on August 31 last year, the data shows that the reported crop loss claims shot up from around Rs 470 crore in 2018-19 to over Rs 1,116 crore in 2019-20.
As against the claimed loss, the paid claims amounted to Rs 1,092 crore in 2019-20 as against around Rs 40 crore in 2018-19. The number of farmers who benefitted from the PMCIS rose from 6 lakh in 2018-19 to over 9 lakhs in 2019-20, the data shows.
Sources said farmers’ participation in the crop insurance scheme needs special focus in pockets dominated by Dalits and Tribals.
For this, the state government plans to rope in not only district administration but also banks and Jan Suvidha Kendras.
The department also plans to disseminate information and success stories of farmers on social media.