Crop Insurance in Haryana – is the Awareness Really There?
13th September 2014
As with most states in India, Haryana is highly dependent on agriculture as the main occupation for people in the rural belts. It could be that there could be too much rain and the crops could get washed away and it could also be that the rain is so little that the conditions resemble a drought. The biggest sufferers in this case are the farmers who toil long and hard to grow the crops and then see their work getting wasted because of the vagaries of nature. Drought is a common problem in Haryana and the North Indian state has also been declared to be experiencing one in 2014 itself. Thanks to drought, the farmers do not get the necessary water resources and this harms their production in the end.
The only thing that could possibly save these people from such a predicament is crop insurance. With a good policy in place it would not really matter if the crops were damaged due to circumstances because at least there would be a certain level of financial compensation that would enable them to deal with the problems and then sow the seeds for the next year. However, the question that needs to be asked here is whether people are aware of something called crop insurance – do they know what it is and how it works.
Perhaps the government needs to come forward and offer crop insurance for the poor farmers who are not able to afford the plans offered by the private service providers owing to financial constraints. It needs to be kept in mind that most of the farmers in Haryana live below the poverty line and they find it hard just to get by. The process needs to be done in a definite way. To start with, the wing of Haryana Government that is dealing with the agriculture sector needs to start awareness campaigns in the rural areas especially ones that have been affected by the drought-prone nature of the state.
Then the officials in charge of the campaigns can note down the names of farmers who really need the facility and proceed to help them. There is always a possibility that the government can ask the public insurers as well as the private parties to pitch in with the lure of various economic and business benefits based on their participation. However, perhaps it would be better served if it were to take up the cudgels by itself and start something like the Jan Dhan Yojana.
It is not that the state government has done nothing in this regard. In the last couple of years it has brought rice under its ambit of insurance and also started a crop insurance scheme that is based on weather and rainfall. It is all good and fine but the problem with crop and weather-based policy is that the benefits may not accrue to all. Especially ones who grow a crop that is not insured might miss out. It would only be fair in the long run if an individual-based policy could be created, whereby any farmer who has been unable to cultivate owing to reasons other than lack of rain, such as a family disaster and ill health, could gain. It would provide them much more relief and with proper financial assurance in place, they would be in a much better position to get on with their jobs.