Bitter Seeds supplementary reading RESOURCE 3

3/29/2018 Thousands of farmer suicides prompt India to set up $1.3bn crop insurance scheme | World news | The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/14/india-thousands-of-farmer-suicides-prompt-1bn-crop-insurance-scheme 1/2

 

Thousands of farmer suicides prompt India to set up $1.3bn crop insurance scheme

Agence-France Presse

Crop failure protection comes after two years of drought led to a spate of farmer suicides in India’s rural heartland

Thu 14 Jan 2016 02.10 GMT

India’s government has approved a $1.3bn insurance scheme for farmers to protect against crop failures, saying it was intended to put a halt to a spate of suicides.

Two successive years of drought have battered the country’s already struggling rural heartland, with farmer suicides in rural areas regularly hitting the headlines.

More than 300,000 farmers have killed themselves in India since 1995.

Under the new scheme, farmers will pay premiums of as little as 1.5% of the value of their crops, allowing them to reclaim their full value in case of natural damage, the government said.

 

 

3/29/2018 Thousands of farmer suicides prompt India to set up $1.3bn crop insurance scheme | World news | The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/14/india-thousands-of-farmer-suicides-prompt-1bn-crop-insurance-scheme 2/2

“The scheme will be a protection shield against instances of farmer suicides because of crop failures or damage because of nature,” home minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday after the cabinet approved the scheme.

The Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme is also an attempt by Narendra Modi’s government to woo the country’s powerful farming community after being beaten in two recent state elections.

“This scheme not just retains the best features of past policies but also rectifies all previous shortcomings… This is a historic day,” Modi said in a tweet.

Previous crop insurance schemes have been criticised by the agricultural community as being too complex or for having caps that prevented them from recouping the full commercial value in the case of damage.

Take-up of existing schemes by farmers is as low as 23%, the agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said, adding that he hoped to increase coverage to 50%.

The heavily subsidised scheme will come into effect in April, a major crop-sowing season.

“It frees Indian farmers from the fear of crop failure and is a strong political message from the government,” Dr MJ Khan, Chairman of Indian Council of Food and Agriculture, told AFP.

Modi’s government has also faced large-scale farmer protests over a key bill aimed at making it easier for businesses to buy land.

Topics India South and Central Asia Farming news

 

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