Government to introduce new crop insurance scheme

The government is working on a new crop insurance scheme to help farmers tackle flood, drought and plant diseases in a better manner, union minister of agriculture Radha Mohan Singh said today.

He said details of the new crop insurance policy, which will replace the existing scheme, will be announced during the Budget session of the Parliament.

Addressing mediapersons in Patna today, Singh said the new Agriculture Insurance Scheme (Krushi Bima Yojana) is being introduced as the present scheme is not proving much beneficial to the farmers while facing wrath of natural calamities.

The agriculture minister reiterated that betterment of agriculture, villages and farmers are on the priority of the union government. He further added that health of soil is necessary for the agricultural production and productivity and therefore 'Soil Health card' is being provided to the farmers.

Besides these, the government is undertaking all adequate measures to provide irrigation to every field, marketing of agri-produce and enhancement of livestock quality. He said details of such schemes will be brought forward during the budget session.

The minister assured there will be no discrimination among states while making efforts for the overall development of agricultural sector as it is a state subject. However, he expressed concern over non-utilisation of full allocation by states in respect of central schemes like the National Food Security Mission, National Agriculture Development Scheme, National Micro-Irrigation Scheme and National Bamboo Mission.

Underlining the importance of agricultural universities in the agricultural development and lamented the fact that four ranges of Bihar - Munger, Gaya, Saran and Champaran - are lacking such a facility and asked the state to take appropriate steps to establish it as early as possible.

Singh also said hoarding is behind the rising prices of onion despite its all-time record production in the country, and said directions have been issued by the central government to all states to deal strictly with hoarding.