Crop insurance: skirting ‘kuruvai’ irks farmers

‘It is a bolt from the blue’

The decision to extend insurance cover for crops other than paddy cultivated during the kharif (April to July) season has irked delta farmers who have taken up kuruvai paddy cultivation this year with confidence.

Two days ago, the State government made an announcement that the farmers who have taken up the cultivation of crops other than paddy and thattaipayaru (cow pea) in the notified areas during the period April to July could insure their crop till August 31.

It also announced that in case if the excluded crops get affected due to natural calamitiesl such loss would be compensated with the State Disaster Relief Fund and all the crops notified during the `special’ and `rabi’ season (October to March) would be insured.

Though the exclusion of paddy (standing kuruvai) was justified in the official release by stating that the reduction in the Central government’s share in crop insurance premium had increased the State government’s burden and disbursement of crop insurance compensation on a large-scale during the last five years forcing the insurance companies to effect steep hike in the premium amount, the reasoning seems to have not augured well with the delta farmers.

Talking to reporters at Mannargudi on Saturday, Tamizhaga Cauvery Vivasayigal Sangam general secretary P.R. Pandian termed the announcement as nothing but a bolt from the blue on the delta farmers who had took up kuruvai cultivation this season withstanding the financial stress and mental agony caused due to inclement weather conditions during the last ‘samba/thaladi’ season.

Further, making the crucial announcement through an official bypassing the Assembly while it was in session was highly unacceptable, he added.

Regretting the manner in which the crop insurance issue for kuruvai crop was handled by the elected government and officials, Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Welfare Protection Association secretary Sundara Vimalanathan and a progressive farmer, G.Srinivasan of Ganapathi Agraharam, said compromising on crop security would not help the State government in achieving its ambitious goal of enhancing the food productivity and enlarging the area of cultivable lands in the State in a phased manner.

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