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Good response to insurance scheme

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Staff Reporter

"2,050 ryots in `notified blocks' covered in Tuticorin" "2,050 farmers in `notified blocks' covered by the scheme"

Tuticorin: The Government's decision to bring `non-loanee' farmers in the district under the ambit of National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) from this fiscal, has evoked a good response.

Official sources told The Hindu that a total of 2,050 `non-loanee' farmers engaged in the cultivation of various crops in `notified blocks' were now covered by the scheme, achieving the target set for the entire fiscal before the end of third quarter (ie., before December 31, 2006) itself.

Crop-wise, 200 non-loanee farmers engaged in groundnut cultivation, 500 involved in paddy cultivation and 1,350 farmers engaged in other agriculture crops such as maize, chilly and cotton, were covered.

"Our aim was to provide comprehensive risk insurance against yield losses owing to natural fire and lightning, flood, landslide, drought and pest attacks," the Collector R. Palaniyandi said.

Scale of premium

The scale of premium was fixed at Rs.131 per acre for paddy, Rs.44 per acre for maize, Rs.241 per acre for groundnut, Rs.882 per acre for cotton, Rs.2,236 per acre for chilly and Rs.5,750 per acre for banana.

Dr. Palaniyandi said "while the farmers remitted 50 per cent of the premium amount fixed for the respective crops, the Government paid an equal amount as premium to the Agricultural Insurance Company of India Limited."

N. Pandiarajan, Joint Director of Agriculture, said a total of Rs.29,834 for paddy crop, Rs.7,587 for groundnut and Rs.29,700 for maize, had been remitted by the 2,050 farmers, in toto, towards premium.

The Collector said "the extension of NAIS to non-loanee farmers is helpful to maintain a steady flow of agriculture credit in the district."

"The scheme would act as a catalyst to the farmers to adopt advanced farming practices, since it extends financial support to them in the event of crop failure, and it would stabilise the farm incomes, particularly in the disaster years," he added.

Besides, the scheme would streamline loss assessment procedures and help the district administration to create an accurate statistical base for crop production.

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