For 2015-16 Rabi farming season, Odisha has identified 7 crops to be covered under the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) after the standing crops were affected in Kharif 2015 due to drought.
The crops to be insured under the NAIS include paddy, mustard, potato, groundnut, green gram, black gram and sugarcane. The green gram, black gram and sugarcane are newly included in the list.
Dasarathi Singh, deputy general manager, Agriculture Insurance Company of India Limited (AICIL) said "The Odisha state government is encouraging cultivation of non-paddy crops especially the pulses, due to widespread drought. Pulses can grow in the moisture remaining in the field after harvesting the paddy. The state level technical committee has finalized the list of crops to be insured which has been approved by the State Level Coordination Committee on Crop Insurance headed by chief secretary. The notification in this regard is likely to come out by next week."
The AICL was implemented the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) (Rashtriya Krishi Bima Yojana) in Odisha. For rest of the crops, blocks are considered as the unit area for assessment of crop loss. Gram panchayats have been taken as the unit area for insurance of paddy.
According to the reports, 173 blocks in 25 districts have been hit by drought and around 882,000 hectares of land have sustained crop loss of over 33 percent. The drought has affected cultivation in 20484 villages, comprising a population of 15.1 million. Over 90 farmers have committed suicides due to the drought.
In Rabi 2014-15, as many as 117582 farmers were covered with a sum assured of Rs 480 crore.
Singh added that the state government has given the target to double the number of farmers to be brought under the insurance coverage during the 2015-16 Rabi season taking the total to about 234000 farmers. Maximum emphasis will be given to cover the non loanee farmers.
Odisha has directed the banks, depending on the irrigation potential to extend normal agricultural finance for Rabi crops during 2015-16. The banks are asked to extend loans to the tune of Rs 4500 crore in the ensuing Rabi season.