Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will hold a marathon meeting with experts in Bhopal on Monday to discuss an indigenous crop insurance scheme for the state. Chouhan has made repeatedly stated over the last few years that existing crop insurance schemes lack a focal point to manage risk. “In case of crop loss due to low productivity, let alone losses due to natural calamity, farmers have no option to manage risk,” Chouhan had told BS recently. “Dr Ramesh Chand, director, National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research; Dr Ashok Vishandass, chairman, Commission for Agriculture Value and Prices; Dr David Dror of Micro Insurance Academy New Delhi and foreign experts would speak on risk management and preparation for an indigenous crop insurance scheme for small and marginal farmers. Besides, Dr Vinay Shastrabuddhe, director general of Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, a research and training academy for elected representatives and social activists, will also share his thoughts on how to mitigate crop losses," said, a senior state government official. The idea of the meeting, the official said, is to assess crop productivity using satellite and other modern techniques so that exact crop loss could be calculated. “Delegates from various countries would assemble to share their expertise in assessing crop loss management through insurance,” the official added. The Madhya Pradesh chief minister has often advocated the need for a national debate on crop insurance scheme.
MP has witnessed natural calamities like hailstorm, unseasonal rainfall, heavy rains or flood since 2011. Earlier, he tried to convince the Centre to count each field as a unit since, according to him, a large number of farmers do not get compensation against crop loss even though they have obtained insurance cover. At home, Chouhan even altered Revenue Book rules number 6 to 4 to provide maximum cover to majority of farmers.