By:Mohan Lal Verma
With a view to compensate a huge loss to the farmers and horticulturalists’ of the state due to harsh weather conditions, rain and heavy snow, the state government has released the largest ever relief of Rupees 9.14 crore under the Disaster Relief Fund to the affected.
A state government spokesman said that it had launched Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) on pilot basis to safeguard interest of apple growers, as horticulture is the major revenue-earning avenue for them. The official also informed that it has extended an insurance scheme to all blocks of the state for current financial year 2015-16.
During rabi season 2014-15, WBCIS has been extended for apple crop from 17 to 35 blocks and for mango crop to 42 blocks. The additional fruit crop namely citrus (kinnow) has been covered in 14 blocks, plum in 12 blocks and peach in four development blocks.
During last two years 1,06,113 farmers were covered under WBCIS for which the state government has borne 25% of premium share amounting to Rupees 12.33 crore the insurance companies to compensate the losses.
During 2013-14, as many as 64782 farmers were covered under WBCIS for apple crop who had insured their 1,26,14,524 trees for which the state government had borne 25% premium share of Rupees 6.17 crore subsidy with a claim of Rupees 8.14 crore.