Himachal extends weather based crop insurance cover to tomato, spring potato

Shimla: A Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) has been launched on pilot basis in Solan and Bilaspur district for tomato crop and for spring (Rabi) potato crops in Kangra and Una districts.

These crops are being provided an WBCIS insurance cover for Rabi 2010-11 season in selected areas between March to July for tomato and January to April for potato in Kangra district and January to mid of March in Una district.

The implementing agency would be Agriculture Insurance Company of India Ltd (A/C) for tomato crops in Solan district and ICICI Lomabard would insure the crops in Kangra, Una and Bilaspur districts, a government spokesman disclosed.

The scheme adopts an ‘Area Approach’ principal wherein a Reference Unit Area (RUA) is monitored by reference weather station for weather related crop damages to the area. Area Approach signifies that a reference Unit Area would be considered for the purpose of acceptance of risk and assessment of compensation as well.

The scheme has also been made mandatory for all famers who have taken a loan and voluntary for others, said the spokesman.

Temperature (Low temperature (frost), Chilling, High mean temperature, temperature fluctuation), Wind speed and Rainfall (deficit/excess), which cause ‘Adverse Weather Incidence’ leading to crop loss, would be covered under the scheme.

Actuarial Premium Rates for notified crops have been calculated by AIC of India Ltd and ICICI Lombard Gen. Ins. Co. using standard premium rating methodology. Of the total premium, 50% is to be shared by the central and the state government on a equal basis.

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