Millets covered under crop insurance scheme in Kerala

Millet crops have secured a place in the Restructured Weather based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) implemented by Agriculture Insurance Company of India. As per the recommendations of the farming community, the State Level Coordination Committee on Crop Insurance (SLCCCI) has notified millets which include Sorghum (cholam), Finger Millet (Ragi/Koovaragu), Pearl Millet (Bajra/Kambu), Proso Millet (Panivaragu), Barnyard Millet (Kavadappullu), Foxtail Millet (Thina) and Little Millet (Chama) for the scheme. The RWBCIS, being implemented in Kerala under PMFBY since Kharif 2016, has recently incorporated several farmer-friendly changes, inclusion of new crops under the scheme being the major one. The crop-specific insurance covers notified for millets are deficit rainfall (July-August), rise in day temperature (June-August) and unseasonal excess rainfall (May-September). The farmers are also eligible for claims assessed at individual field levels for the perils of inundation, high wind speed and landslides, the official said. “It is a welcome decision to promote millet farming considering the climate change impacts and nutritional attributes. The decision can persuade the farmers in other parts of Kerala also, to further extend the area under farming of these super food crops, Indira Devi, former Director of Research, Kerala Agricultural University said. Millets in Kerala are cultivated on 284 hectares in Palakkad and Idukki, mainly by tribes.

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