Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government has brought 16.55 lakh hectares of agricultural land under crop insurance in the past six years.
Since coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken several steps in ensuring maximum profit of farmers and include the move of giving the farmers share of the crop insurance. Bengal is the only state where the farmers' complete share of the crop insurance is given by the state government.
According to data compiled by the state Agriculture department, there was only 4.45 lakh hectares of land under crop insurance in the 2011-12 financial year and now it has gone up to 21 lakh hectares. In 2011-12 fiscal, there were only 8.89 lakh farmers who used to get the benefits of crop insurance. With several drives taken by the Mamata Banerjee government in the past six years, the figure is now 44.7 lakh.
A considerable increase in the number of farmers getting benefits of crop insurance has come to notice from the 2014-15 fiscal, when the total area that was brought under crop insurance has almost doubled and the number of farmers getting the benefit has increased by around 7.31 lakh.
Again, there was a sharp increase in the 2016-17 fiscal compared to that of the 2015-16 financial year. The total land that has been brought under crop policy in 2016-17 and 2015-16 is 44.7 lakh hectares and 19.93 lakh hectares respectively. The total number of farmers receiving benefits of crop insurance is 21 lakh and 8.73 lakh respectively.
It may be mentioned that since the change of guard in the state, the government gave agricultural input subsidy worth Rs 1,336.43 crore among 32.83 lakh farmers for crop damage due to natural calamities like hailstorm, non-seasonal heavy rain, flood, drought etc under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
The state government has also given compensation worth Rs 205 crore to farmers when they had incurred heavy loss due to unpredictable rain and hailstorm when the monsoon had set in early all of a sudden this year.
Compensation worth Rs 308 crore was also given to farmers who were badly affected due to flood in July in 13 districts of Bengal.