TRICHY: This year the registration for crop insurance in delta districts has been low owing to non-disbursal of claims, anomalies in claims and absence of proper monitoring mechanism to check with insurance companies. Farmers add that registration may touch the previous year's figures if the last date would be extended till December 15, farmers opined. However, Trichy district has crossed last year's registrations by 6,000.
In order to help more number of farmers by bringing them in the stream, the state government took efforts to bring more cropped area under the scheme for which Rs 522.70 crore, including Rs 9.50 crore for horticulture, was sanctioned as premium subsidy for the year 2017-18. According to officials, it was also proposed to cover 23.90 lakh farmers in the state.
However, the reality is different, the farmer say. They were sceptical that whether they will get their claim in time. "For the year 2017-18 season, samba harvest was over by the end of February 2017 and the assessment was also completed by the agriculture department. So, the process of disbursement of insurance claim to the farmers should have commenced in the month of May and should have completed within two or three months," farmers said.
"Even after the last date for remitting premium for crop insurance crossed on November 30, thousands of farmers who insured their crop for the previous year are still not sure whether they would get it (claim) or not. So, farmers are not ready to remit again," said Swamimalai R Vimalnathan, secretary of Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Protection Association.
Non-disbursal of crop loan and inordinate delay by the cooperative societies were the main reasons for the number go down this year, he added.
"Loanee farmers would automatically come under the insurance scheme. If crop loan were properly sanctioned to the needy farmers, they would have also been covered. That has not been executed properly," he added.
Moreover, there were no proper monitoring mechanism to follow the scheme closely. Registration was made through various channels such as cooperative societies, agriculture department and through private insurance companies. So, there was no proper coordination to streamline the entire process, farmers alleged.
This apart, a number of anomalies were also stated to be another reason for the farmers who remained lethargic towards remitting premium, he said.
Varadharajan, of Veppathur in Thanjavur district, said that though he was disbursed insurance claim that was not an acceptable one. "I had remitted premium for my three acres of crop that was damaged due to the drought last year. But the private insurance company has disbursed three different amount of claim for three acres of land located at one place. The landowner, crop and damage were the same, but the claim was not so", he alleged. Farmers unanimously demanded that the date should be extended till December 15, to let the farmers take a decision.
Repeated attempts by TOI to contact New India Insurance Company regional manager went in vain.