RANIPET: Ranipet district farmers who have started paddy harvest for the current Sornavari season are in a bind as officialdom has not picked an insurance company to compensate farmers in case of crop damage, despite premia being collected by primary agricultural cooperative banks (PACB), sources revealed.
According to Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam youth wing state president R Subash “farmers will suffer a great loss as the insurance company to compensate farmers has not yet been chosen yet by the state government.” Subash also sent a WhatsApp petition to the agriculture department’s principal secretary on this issue.
When farmers sought crop loans from PACBs, their crop insurance premia was collected with the loan issued, he said. “Most PACBs now have the collected money with them as they do not know to which company, they should hand it over” he added.
Elaborating, Ranipet district president CS Mani said “Settlement of the compensation amount would be decided only after an insurance company undertakes various acts including crop cutting experiments where a five by five metre stretch of paddy ready for harvest would be cut, to decide the condition of the crop, based on which compensation would be decided.”
What irks farmers is that this facility has been extended to delta farmers. “With the district experiencing intermittent rain most farmers who have no facility to stock harvested paddy feel that they will be the most affected if stored paddy is drenched in rain. “With not enough sunlight to dry harvested paddy we will experience a total loss because officialdom did not do its homework early and properly,” said an aggrieved farmer refusing to be named.
Agriculture department sources said, “Till the end of June we did not receive any official notification from the government about insurance company selection, and it is doubtful if anything was issued later.” Stating that only a common notification was issued for the entire state, the official said, “maybe to save expenditure, the government might have issued a notification for the delta districts alone.”
With Ranipet district having the largest paddy area in the integrated Vellore district, one wonders how the government will tackle this issue as farmers are in no mood to take the issue lying down.