GUWAHATI, Aug 12: Something goes seriously awry in Assam that continues to miss the bus. Now it has happened to crop insurance as well especially when it comes to the cover of the cropped area and the number of farmers. The State has been lagging so behind that its percentage of the insured area as compared to the gross cropped area is just one percent against the national average of 25 percent.
Despite being an agrarian State, Assam has been cutting such a sorry figure in the percentage of cropped area insurance for the last four financial years from 2014-15 to 2017-18. The percentage of cropped area insurance in the State has been one percent in fiscal 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18. In the past four financial years, the cropped areas insured in Assam have been 30,215 hectares in 2014-15, 28,573 hectares in 2015-16, 41,005 hectares in 2016-17 and 42,778 hectares in 2017-18. The gross area sown in the State is 4,197,000 hectares. Manipur fared well in the region with two percent cropped area insured in fiscal 2014-15, five percent in 2015-16, three percent in 2016-17 and six percent in 2017-18. All other States of the Northeast, including Sikkim, have fared poorly than Assam.
This is against the average national cropped area insurance of 20 percent in fiscal 2014-15, 24 percent in 2015-16, 29 percent in 2016-17 and 25 percent in 2017-18. The other States that continue to have above the national average of cropped area insurance are Rajasthan, MP, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Haryana, among others.
According to sources in the State Agriculture Department, 49,889 farmers were covered under crop insurance claiming Rs 560 lakh in fiscal 2014-15, 45,736 farmers claiming Rs 202 lakh in fiscal 2015-16, 60,265 farmers claiming Rs 515 lakh in 2016-17 and 56,791 farmers claiming Rs 27 lakh for Kharif crop only in fiscal 2017-18. Various crop insurance schemes that have covered Assam farmers are the National Agricultural Scheme, the National Crop Insurance Programme, Weather-based Crop Insurance Scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Bima among others.