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State farmers to be covered under PMFBY
 GUWAHATI, Nov 6 - The State government has completed its arrangements for enrollment of farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY) for the rabi 2019-20 season.

Official sources said that summer paddy, rape, mustard, potato and sugarcane crops will be covered by the PMFBY in the rabi season this year.

As part of it, the State government has divided all the districts of Assam into clusters for coverage under the scheme.

“A total of eight clusters have been constituted. The Agriculture Insurance Company of India Ltd (AIC) will be the implementing agency in six of the clusters. In the remaining two clusters, the scheme will be implemented by the HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Ltd,” an official told The Assam Tribune.

He added that from this year the implementing agencies have been selected for duration of three years. Earlier, agencies used to be given contract for only a single-crop season.

“From kharif 2019 season, the norms were changed. The implementing agencies were empanelled for a period of three years. So the same agency that implemented the PMFBY in a particular district during the kharif season this year will also be responsible for the project in the rabi season as well,” said the official.

In cluster one (Kamrup, Kokrajhar, Goalpara and Dima Hasao), cluster two (Jorhat, Majuli, Golaghat, Nalbari, Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong), cluster three (Barpeta, Karimganj, Sivasagar and Charaideo), cluster four (Bongaigaion, Sonitpur, Biswanath and Dhemaji), cluster five (Dhubri, South Salmara-Mankachar, Darrang and Hailakandi) and cluster seven (Nagaon, Hojai, Chirang and Dibrugarh), the AIC will be the implementing agency.

HDFC ERGO will implement PMFBY in cluster six (Udalguri, Tinsukia, Lakhimpur and Cachar) and cluster eight (Kamrup Metro, Morigaon and Baksa).

“For each crop, specific districts and areas within the eight clusters have been selected for implementation of the scheme during the rabi season this year,” said an official.

The scheme will be implemented at the revenue circle level. Each revenue circle will be considered as one unit for the purpose of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCE).

Farmers’ share of premium for up to one hectare per farmer will be borne by the State government, irrespective of any number of notified crops insured.

However, a minimal amount of Re 1 is to be charged from each farmer to facilitate electronic tracking.

“Farmers insuring more than one hectare of land will have to pay full share of their premium,” said the source.

The cut-off date for enrollment for potato and rape and mustard crops has been fixed at December 31 this year, while that for Summer Paddy and Sugarcane is February 15, 2020.

“The scheme is available to all farmers growing the notified crops in the notified areas, including sharecroppers and tenant farmers. However, farmers need to have insurable interest for the notified or insured crop. All farmers availing Seasonal Agricultural Operations (SAO) loans from financial institutions, i.e. loanee farmers, for the notified crops would be covered compulsorily. Any loan eligible for compulsory coverage under PMFBY, if not covered will be deemed to be self-insured by the concerned financial institute and any claim, in the event of loss, shall be borne by the financial institution,” said the official.

Coverage is also available to non-loanee farmers on optional basis.

“Non-loanee farmers are required to submit necessary documentary evidence of land records like Records of Right (RoR), Land Possession Certificate (LPC), certificate from village headman, applicable contract and agreement details,” he added.

In Assam, coverage under PMFBY has gone up over the years. More than 25,000 farmers were covered during the kharif 2018 season, while the numbers went up to over 87,000 farmers during the rabi 2018-19.

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