With the insects causing extensive damage to thousands of hectares of Aman paddy leaving both the farmers and the agricultural authorities in deep worry, the insurance companies – mainly the state promoted Bangla Sashya Bima Yojna woke up to the distress calls finally and its survey officials began visiting the devastated croplands in Burdwan East.
A crop insurance scheme is basically a medium to provide economic support to the farmers experiencing massive crop losses either due to unforeseen peril like natural disaster or some perennial menace like crop disease and pest attack. Burdwan East – Bengal’s rice bowl-accommodates 4.55 lakh paddy growers and 4.04 lakh of them, according to the officials, have brought their crop under insurance coverage.
A portion of the farmers, Jagannath Chatterjee, deputy director of agriculture in Burdwan East, said: “Some couldn’t avail crop insurance for not having proper documents of their farmlands and some faced problems with the dearth of validation of their share croplands here. Still, with the present consequences, we insist absolute crop insurance for the entire cultivators.”
Burdwan East cultivated Aman paddy – a principal crop of Bengal on 3.40 lakh hectares of which harvesting of 2.70 lakh hectares has been completed. A report to Nabanna was sent on crop damage in 17 blocks where the extent of damage was noted as “unprecedented” as crop of 1.14 lakh hectares have already been destroyed.
Mostly, the aromatic variety of the paddy suffered damage due to extensive attack by yellow and purple stem-borer accompanied by its partner hooded hopper. “Just because of non- arrival of proper winter climate, the insects have got ample opportunity to go for such a wildly destruction of crops this time,” said Chatterjee.