Trend of banana crop insurance on the riseThe trend of banana crop insurance is on the rise in the district following two consecutive storms last year destroyed 70 percent of the farms.
The trend of banana crop insurance is on the rise in the district following two consecutive storms last year destroyed 70 percent of the farms.
“Farmers have learnt a lesson. This year, 80 of the 300 farmers have insured their crop,” said Tika Ram Thapa, senior agriculture development officer.
Under the government’s crop insurance scheme, farmers have to pay just 10 percent of the insurance premium of Rs280,000 per hectare.
Thapa said the government directly bears 75 percent and the remaining by District Agriculture Office. “As farmers are ignorant about the premium payout, the scheme, however, has yet to cover all the farmers.”
Thapa said the district is self-reliant in banana due to increased production as a result of commercial farming. “Imports from India have been totally halted now,” he said.
Kanchanpur produces 8,000 tonnes of banana annually. Of the total production, more than 50 percent is supplied to markets like Kohalpur, Surkhet, Dhangadhi, Dadeldhura, Baitadi and Doti.
Last year, the farmers had launched a protest and stopped imports from India, fearing their produce would not get market as well as fair price. The district used to import 60-70 tonnes of banana daily until last year. “Now, the district produces 100 tonnes daily,” said Purna Singh Saud, president of Banana Development Network.
Banana farming started in the district during the 90s. However, commercial farming started in 2009.
According to the District Agriculture Office, 300 farmers have been involved in banana farming on 350 hectares. “The area under banana farming has been increasing,” said Thapa, adding farmers would be expand the farm by 100 hectares this year.
After banana was prioritised under the government’s one-village one-product scheme, the farmers have been increasingly attracted towards banana farming. Tilkeni, Tilachaur, Haldukhal, Suda, Daiji and Krishnapur in the northern part and Dekhatbhuli, Belauri and Punarbash in the southern part of the district are the pocket areas. Most of the farmers have leased land for commercial farming.