Himachal apples, mangoes sanctioned Rs 3.37 insurance cover

Shimla: For damages to fruit crops, the Agriculture Insurance Company of India has sanctioned Rs 3.37 crore under the crop insurance scheme for apple and mango growers, Narinder Bragta, horticulture minister stated.

At the state government’s insistence, apple and mango had been brought under the crop insurance scheme on a pilot basis in 2009-10.

The weather based crop insurance scheme had been introduced on a pilot basis in Theog, Jubbal, Narkanda, Rohru and Chirgaon blocks of Shimla district and Ani block of Kullu district for apple and in Fatehpur, Nurpur, Indora and Nagrota Surian blocks of Kangra district for mango crop, said the minister.

As many as 3092 apple orchard owners had insured about 2.68 lakh trees and 209 mango growers had insured about 0.16 lakh trees under the scheme.

The agricultural insurance company has sanctioned Rs 3,20,19,939/- for apple growers and Rs 17,24,296/- lac for mango growers, said Bragta.

Response of the growers towards the scheme was encouraging and the government may bring remaining areas of the state under the insurance scheme soon, he added.

Both apple and mango crops were sensitive to adverse weather conditions and as such four weather parameters namely chilling requirement, temperature fluctuation, low rainfall and excess rainfall have been covered for apple crop and frost, temperature fluctuation, un-seasonal rain and wind speed have been covered for mango crop under the scheme.

Automatic weather stations have been established in each block in order to get real data on affect of adverse weather conditions on fruit crops.

Provisions of the scheme make it mandatory that farmer taking a loan needs to have an insurance cover for the crop while for other farmers it is only optional risk coverage.

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