GUWAHATI, Oct 5 – The State government is working to expand coverage of crop insurance schemes in Assam to at least one lakh farmers in 2015-16.
Official sources told The Assam Tribune that as part of the plan, all companies have been asked to focus on non-loanee farmers and to raise awareness about the benefits of crop insurance.
The coverage of farmers under both the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and the Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) in Assam is very low. We are working to expand coverage and we are hopeful of covering at least one lakh farmers this year, said an official.
In 2013-14, altogether 57,874 farmers and 48,348.17 hectares of farmland had been covered under the two schemes, in addition to the ten existing modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS), which had been implemented in two districts.
However, the coverage came down the following year. In 2014-15, both the NAIS and the WBCIS together were able to cover 46,982 farmers and 27,866.95 hectares of farmland.
The term sheet was delayed. In the Kharif 2014 season, coverage was done through WBCIS in all 27 districts for both agricultural and horticultural crops. But in the Rabi 2014-15 season, WBCIS only covered horticultural crops, while NAIS covered all agricultural crops, the official said.
A total of 21,656 farmers were covered by WBCIS in Kharif 2014 season. The scheme covered 1,593 farmers for horticultural crops in the 2014-15 Rabi season, while another 23,642 farmers were covered by the NAIS for agricultural crops.