January 15th, 2016
Image Source: huffingtonpost, flickr
India has a huge dependence on agriculture for its economy and yet it is one of the most neglected spheres of our society. Farmer suicides are so common in our country that its almost all we can see in the newspaper everybody. We probably will never be able to understand the complexities in the lives of the farmers that lead to situations coercing them to give up on life but we can agree that the dissatisfaction arises from money troubles. Despite diligently working for almost the entire year to make some money from the crops they grow but when natures untimely attacks ruin their crop they are left with nothing for the rest of their year. Previously introduced schemes by the government have not been largely successful in solving our farmers issues because of the extremely large premium rates that the farmers had to pay in return for security against crop failure. Since this premium is itself not affordable for them, you cannot expect them to make timely payments for the sake of crop security.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the launch of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme) which will be really helpful to the farmers. Till now, more than 3 lakh farmers have committed suicide since 1995 and in the year 2015, 3,228 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra, with 610 deaths in just two months, State records highest ever suicides by farmers. The govt. has launched this initiative hoping that this move helps farmers.
The salient feature of this initiative are:
■ Under this scheme, the premium rates to be paid by the farmers have been brought down substantially so as to enable more farmers avail insurance cover against crop loss on account of natural calamities.
■ Under the scheme, farmers will pay 2 per cent of premium fixed by insurance firms for kharif crops and 1.5 per cent for rabi crops.
■ For annual commercial and horticultural crops, farmers will have to pay a premium of 5 percent.
■ The new crop insurance scheme, worth approximately Rs. 8800 crore, aims at protecting farmers against crop failure.
■ The scheme will come into effect from the upcoming kharif season.