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Fertile Ground For Crop Insurance

India News

The Centre needs to expand irrigation coverage, give a big push to crop insurance and make agriculture remunerative, rating agency CRISIL has said. Ahead of the Union Budget proposals, it has also recommended extending the Direct Benefits Transfer scheme to food and fertiliser subsidies, and generating non-farm employment.In the 2015-16 Budget, the government had allocated Rs 5,000 crore for micro-irrigation, watershed development and the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana. “Such spending needs to be encouraged and linked to employment generation. Focus on irrigation will require the government to deploy sustainable micro-irrigation schemes and creation of assets for rainwater harvesting and storage,” CRISIL said. Effective implementation will be key to meeting the target of 50 per cent coverage in the first two years. CRISIL says adequacy of coverage per farmer per crop will be critical to ensure its usefulness. Other challenges include ensuring the transparent assessment of crop damage within a specified time following weather shocks, and the ability to adequately compensate for the losses within the shortest possible time.