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The Govt. expands the crop insurance paid to paddy to other five main crops as well

ravi karunanayake– Finance Ministry

As announced by the Minister of Finance Mr. Ravi Karunanayake at the Budget- 2017 the crop insurance that has so far covered only paddy cultivation has been expanded to cover other major five food crops too. 

The Government has already launched the two-year National Food Production Programme to ensure  self-sufficient in Potatoes, Big Onions, Chilies, Maize and Soya beans. Accordingly, the farmers of these crops will also receive crop insurance as in the case of paddy cultivation.  Farmers under this scheme will be paid compensation up to a maximum of Rs 10,000 per acre for crop damages in times of any natural calamity.

This agricultural insurance scheme is funded by 1 % levy charged from the profits of all registered Banks, Financial institutions and the Insurance companies since 2013. This 1% levy is credited to National Insurance Trust Fund from which the farmers are paid compensation through Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board.

Following the drought hit at several districts during the 2016/2017 Maha season the farmers  whose crops were affected were paid up to Rs 10,000 per acre last month.

In addition, the government in the year 2016 introduced a relief scheme under the name of National Loan Protection Scheme to provide further relief to farmers who could not repay ther bank loans due to damages caused to their crops. Accordingly, the National Loan Protection Scheme initiated for the purpose, on behalf of the farmers will pay their banks loan outstanding after having assessed the crop damages.The government has estimated that some of Rs 500 Million will have to be paid to banks in lieu of the loan obtained by the farmers during 2016/2017 maha season. Even this scheme is supported by the 1 percent levy charged on the Banks and financial institutions.

The National Insurance trust Fund since the introduction of 1% levy on profits of the Banks, financial and insurance institutions has so far received Rs 5,069.81 million and disbursed Rs 3,932.34 million as the payment for crop damages and other relief to farmers. Another Rs 500 million has been earmarked to be provided to Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board to provide relief to farmers under the National Loan Protection Scheme.

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