Farmers seek premium collection centres at PACBs

Delta farmers have called upon the State government to start premium collection centres for crop insurance under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana at Primary Agriculture Cooperative Banks (PACBs) for the convenience of cultivators.

Crop insurance was mandatory till last season for cultivators who availed farm loans from recognised financial institutions. Non-loanee farmers had the option of remitting premium through empanelled banks or e-service centres.

This season, crop insurance has been made optional, and farmers willing to avail the facility are being directed to approach Primary Agriculture Credit Cooperative Societies or nationalised banks to insure their crop, or fulfil insurance formalities through e-service centres by submitting necessary documents.

However, in some parts of delta districts, the requests from farmers for insuring crops have been turned down by financial institutions citing ‘work overload’ and they have been directed to approach e-service centres to complete the formalities, said Arupathi P. Kalyanam, general secretary, Federation of Farmers Associations in Delta Districts.

In a memorandum addressed to the Secretary to Government (Agriculture), Commissioner, Agriculture Department and the Collectors of Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Mayiladuthurai districts, Mr. Kalyanam said the e-service centres were experiencing a sudden influx of customers due to diversion of both loanee and non-loanee farmers to complete crop insurance formalities through the centres.

Urging the State government to initiate steps to ensure that insurance premium payment facilities were made available at PACBs, Mr. Kalyanam wanted the rule that crop insurance could be made only through financial institutions having IFS Code be relaxed or withdrawn. If that was not possible, then an e-service facility should be created temporarily at PACBs to help farmers complete crop insurance formalities without any difficulty and delay.

Setting up of temporary e-service centres at the office of the Assistant Agriculture Officers or at other Agriculture Department Offices was also welcome, Mr. Kalyanam said.

Expressing similar views, S. Sundaram of Maharajapuram near Thirukattupalli, a progressive farmer, said such measures would be of immense help to farmers particularly those who were yet to get themselves accustomed to online mode of completing formalities.

He also called upon the administrations in delta districts to issue instructions to village administrative officers to issue cultivation certificates to farmers on request for areas measuring lesser than the extent mentioned in a survey number.

“As the farmers may prefer to insure the crop, they have undertaken planting so far keeping in view the weather predictions,” he added citing the fact that they could not apply for insurance if the transplanted nurseries were affected in the cyclone or heavy rainfall predicted by the Meteorological Department.

Meanwhile, the Collectors of Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts, M. Govinda Rao and V. Santha visited the e-service centres in their domains and checked whether the crop insurance formalities were being carried out as per the rules laid down in the PMFBY.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 4:51:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/farmers-seek-premium-collection-centres-at-pacbs/article33161884.ece

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