Crop loss payout rises to over Rs 2,000 crore in Maharashtra

By Times Of India on 01 May 2018 | read
MUMBAI: The large crop insurance payouts in the state suggest the agriculture sector in Maharashtra continues to be under the weather.
For the 2017-18 kharif season, the state government has sanctioned crop loss claims worth Rs 2,269 crore for farmers. It is more than the amount paid in 2016-17, but much lesser than that of 2015-16, a drought year (see box). An official warned that these figures do not give an exact picture of the losses as several farmers do not take crop insurance and the insurance itself covers only 70% of crop losses.

Farmers in the state had a trying year in 2017, when the state received an average rainfall of 84.3%, and July, the peak of monsoon, saw a 48-day dry spell, leading to major losses and a fall in crop production. “Last year, the major cotton belt in the state too was affected due to the pink bollworm pest attack. Cotton farmers have also applied for assistance under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF),” said an official.

The economic survey for 2017-18 had pegged a negative growth rate of -8.3% for agriculture and allied sector as against the ambitious growth rate of 12.5% recorded last year.

Data shows Kolhapur division in western Maharashtra received 99% of claims. Of the Rs 42.8 crore paid as premium, Rs 42.1 crore has been sanctioned to be paid. The Amravati division in Vidarbha received nearly 95% of the insurance amount. Of the Rs 475 crore paid as premium, Rs 451 crore has been approved to be disbursed against claims. Aurangabad division paid Rs 825 crore towards premium and will receive Rs 583 crore, 70% of the amount paid.

The gross premium paid to insurance companies under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) was Rs 3,406 crore, and a 66% claim ratio has been achieved, said senior officials from the agriculture department.