West Bengal launches free crop insurance scheme for farmers
For the 2019 kharif season, the West Bengal government has rolled out a free crop insurance scheme in collaboration with the Agriculture Insurance Company of India (AIC). The scheme called Bangla Shashya Bima (BSB) is applicable for farmers in 15 districts – Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Bardhaman, Purba Medinipur, Malda, Hooghly, Nadia, Murshidabad, Cooch Behar, Birbhum, Purulia, Dakshin Dinajpur, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas. The crop insurance scheme would be free of cost for the farmers since the government will pay the full premium. The crops that will come under insurance are aman paddy, aus paddy, jute and maize. All farmers taking loans (granted or applied for) and even those not taking loans can avail of the insurance. The insurance will be paid in four stages – for any losses suffered during planting, during cultivation, during the period post-cutting when crops are lying in the field, and for adverse weather situations. The amount will be decided by the state government and will be calculated per hectare.