Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday announced his government’s intention to launch a new crop insurance scheme and a welfare fund for farmers in an apparent bid to nullify the Congress’s bid to win their sympathy. He was speaking at Krishi Mahotsava here on Friday.
The government has organised a series of Krishi Mahotsava programmes in different parts of the state to win back farmers’ faith and ward off the alleged propaganda of the Congress.
The chief minister said that despite having insurance cover, a large number of farmers do not receive compensation against crop loss.
“Madhya Pradesh government is mulling to launch a crop insurance scheme for the state. In doing so, MP will be the first state in the country to launch its crop insurance scheme. The scheme would cover farmers against crop loss due to any reason,” he said.
The chief minister advocated holding a national level debate on making crop insurance scheme farmer-friendly and practical.
“The crop insurance scheme should be made practical and farmer-friendly to help those who suffer crop damage due natural catastrophe,” he said.
“The current rules of Government of India for awarding compensation to natural calamity-hit farmers restrict the scope of relief to a large number of farmers,” he said.
The chief minister also announced government’s plan to start a Farmer’s Welfare Fund with a seed capital of Rs 1000-2000 crore.
Assuring the farmers that they will not have to suffer on account of crop loss, the chief minister took a dig at Congress’ “propaganda” and said that the state procured 73 lakh metric tonne of wheat from farmers while 3.5 lakh tonne wheat was damaged in unseasonal rains and hailstorms.
Now farmers in poppy cultivation will also get compensation on crop damage.
The state recently witnessed crop damage due to untimely downpour and hailstorm in many districts prompting opposition Congress to stage a sit-in protest at the well of the Legislative Assembly pressing for quick relief to farmers.
He said that taking lessons from past mistakes, the state government has ensured that there is no shortage of fertilizers this time.
However, he has a word of advice for farmers and suggested they should move towards horticulture to get more returns.
“After all, agriculture should be made a profession of profit,” he said.