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Agri dept set to aid farmers affected by hailstorms

Kolkata: The state Agriculture department has decided to provide financial assistance
to the farmers whose crops have been damaged due to recent hailstorms in various districts.
The department has already started a survey to determine the quantum of loss for each farmer and how much compensation he is eligible for.
The farmers who have seen damage of 33 percent of the total crops or more, are entitled to get the compensation from the state government.
Asish Banerjee, state Agriculture minister, said: "We are chalking out an elaborate plan on how to extend financial assistance to the farmers in the hailstorm affected districts. We have instructed our officials in the district and the block level to carry out a detailed survey in order to ascertain the loss and also identify the beneficiaries who are entitled to get the compensation."
It has been learnt that various mouzas in the districts of East and West Burdwan, Birbhum, Midnapore, Murshidabad and some others
were badly affected in the repeated incidents of hailstorm recently.
In many villages, heavy damage has been inflicted upon the crops. To protect the farmers from incurring any loss caused by such incidents, the state government is all set to provide monetary assistance to the eligible farmers.
Senior officials of the Agriculture department from the districts will conduct the survey at the block level, where the damages had taken place. On the basis of their observation, a detailed report will be prepared by these officials and then it will be submitted to the department.
It may be mentioned that Bengal is the first state in the country to introduce crop insurance scheme, where the beneficiaries will not have to pay any amount as insurance premium in case of any natural disaster.
Generally, the farmers have to bear 50 percent of the total cost of the insurance premium.
Fasal Bima Yojana, the crop insurance scheme, a brain child of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was introduced in the state to ensure that the farmers are not over-burdened with any debt.
Earlier, the farmers had to bear a portion of the premium amount if their crops were damaged due to any natural disaster. The farmers need to register their names with the office of assistant director of agriculture at the block level, to avail the benefits extended by the state government.
The Agriculture department has been conducting camps in various blocks to spread awareness about the insurance scheme.
It is the Mamata Banerjee government that had conceived a plan in this regard, so that the farmers, more particularly the marginalised ones, do not need to bear the extra burden of insurance.
After coming to power, Banerjee had laid great stress on the upliftment of the socio-economic condition of the farmers and thus introduced various developmental schemes.
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