BJP-led NDA government is mulling a crop insurance scheme as part of its policy to address problems plaguing farmers and the agriculture sector, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said today.
This was part of its thrust on four Is for the sector – irrigation, infrastructure, interest rate and insurance, he said.
“What is to be done is we need to go for agriculture crop income insurance… that is the need of the hour. So the government is looking into that,” he told here.
The Minister, on a visit to a village on the outskirts of the city which he had adopted, earlier held a meeting with agricultural scientists at the University of Agricultural Sciences here.
He, however, said the Centre and the states should join hands to implement the insurance scheme because vast resources were required for it.
“Unless Centre and states join together in the scheme, it is not easy to implement because the resources required is vast and the sector is a challenging sector,” he said.
The Centre was going to give Rs 8,50,000 crore rupees, but that may not be sufficient, he added.
Government was also looking at ways to further reduce the interest rate on farm loans and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had been asked to look into it, he said.
“We are looking at reducing interest rates further… I had asked the Finance Minister to reduce the rates – he says unless the economic situation improves and growth rate increases… (it can’t be done),” he said.
On solving loan related problems in agricultural sector, Naidu said the Centre wants to reverse the trend of farmers availing loans from private moneylenders to financial institutions.
“The Wold Bank study says only 45 per cent of the farmers are getting loans from institutions. The remaining loans they are getting from private lenders, so we want to reverse that,” he said.