Saffron to be covered under crop insurance scheme in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: In a bid to help saffron growers overcome financial losses on account of likely crop loss resulting due to adverse conditions of weather, the state government this year is mulling introduction of Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) in saffron growing areas of Kashmir Division.
A government spokesperson of Department of Agriculture on Saturday said in the first instance saffron crop spread over an area of 3,700 hectares shall be covered under this scheme.
The insurance  with offer a security of Rs 2 lakh per hectare to the growers or farmers against any untoward weather condition, like deficit rainfall, consecutive dry spell, low temperature and high rainfall.
Under the scheme 50 percent of the premium would be borne by the government.
The decision was announced by the agriculture department during a joint meeting of representatives of various insurance companies and departmental functionaries of the department held under the chairmanship of Director Agriculture Kashmir Mushtaq Peerzada.
The meeting decided the three companies who have shown their willingness and submitted their proposals shall be authorised to provide this insurance cover to the crop on uniform pattern and uniform data of premium.
It was also given out that Insurance companies shall install an automatic weather station at Pampore for monitoring and collection of weather data so that to use it as a benchmark for covering of scheme .
The saffron growers hailed the government’s announcement and said it was their long pending demand to bring the crop under the insurance scheme.
“It is welcome step and we appreciate the decision. It was our long pending demand as the crop is being hit by inconsistent weather changes,” president Saffron Growers Association, Abdul Majid Wani told Kashmir Reader.
Wani also said the step will encouraged to cover more area under saffron as they were reluctant to increase the area as damages could take toll on economy of farmers.
He also demanded that government should also announce support price for the farmers.