State urges to extend application date for crop insurance

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Tuesday urged the Centre to extend the last date of application for crop insurance coverage by farmers, not having availed loans, till August 31, official sources said.

"To help the maximum number of farmers to avail benefits provided under the central crop insurance scheme, it is requested that the cut off date for applying for insurance coverage by non-loanees may be further extended to August 31 (instead of Aug-14) under National Agriculturral Insurance Scheme (NAIS) during Kharif-2012," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

Stating that agricultural operation in Odisha was delayed because of the late onset of monsoon in large parts of the state, Patnaik pointed out that cultivation activities have been further adversly affected due to deficient rainfall.

The state has been implementing NAIS in all the districts except 13 selected blocks where Weather-based Crop Insurance Scheme is being implemented.

"These 13 blocks are mostly drought-prone vulnerable areas in Bolangir and Nuapada district," Patnaik said in the letter expecting a positive response from Pawar.