Kerala Government Yet to Issue notification for WBCIS
Kozhikode, Kerala: For the ongoing Rabi season which could have benefitted thousands of farmers, the state agriculture department has not issued a notification for the weather based crop insurance scheme (WBCIS), even as the state is staring at its most severe drought in recent years.
The agriculture department is yet to select the implementing agency in the state prior to the issuance of the notification, though the notification for the Rabi season had to be issued by October.
The last date for applying for crop insurance will be January 15, this is when the tender document for selecting the implementing agency, from among insurance companies', states.
To enrol for the scheme, that would leave the farmers with a very limited window period, even if the government completes the procedures by them. On October 31, in the Kerala state the government had declared all the 14 districts as drought- hit.
To provide protection to farmers from adverse weather conditions, like high mean temperature and low mean temperature, deficit rainfall and excess/unseasonal rainfall, temperature fluctuation etc, the central government sponsored insurance scheme intends, which would have come as a relief to farmers battling drought conditions in the state this season.
During the 2016 Kharif season, only around 30,000 farmers had signed up for the scheme. Also, in the last Kharif season, the state had not implemented the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
The delay in issuing notification would hinder the effective implementation of the weather based crop insurance scheme, said officials in the agricultural insurance sector.
Regional manager of the Agriculture Insurance Company of India, D Rajesh said, "If the window available for farmers for taking insurance is less, then the participation of the farmers would naturally come down. As per the scheme the notification was to be issued in September and latest by the first fortnight of October."
The insurance payments will be linked to fluctuations in weather data collected from over 130 weather stations across the state.. According to the bid document, the weather-based insurance will be implemented for ten crops in 12 districts.