Parbat farmers fed up with insurance hasslesCrop insurance, a priority programme of the government, has failed to deliver real benefits to farmers in Parbat district with many of them complaining that they have not received compensation for their losses.
Crop insurance, a priority programme of the government, has failed to deliver real benefits to farmers in Parbat district with many of them complaining that they have not received compensation for their losses.
Lack of compensation and the lengthy paperwork involved in buying crop insurance has discouraged farmers in this district in western Nepal from seeking coverage against risks for their agricultural products.
The government has been providing a 75 percent subsidy on the premium for agriculture related insurance policies for the last three years. The incentive helped non-life insurance companies to increase farm insurance policy sales to Rs6 billion in the last fiscal year from Rs3.2 billion in fiscal 2014-15.
Although more and more farmers in other parts of the country have started insuring their crops, cultivators in Parbat have not shown keen interest in buying these insurance schemes.
Ek Narayan Poudel, a farmer from Dhairing, said insurers harass farmers by asking for unnecessary documents.
“This has worked as a deterrent for farmers who wish to insure their products,” said Poudel, who has been conducting commercial farming of vegetables on 14 ropanis of land for the last two decades.
According to him, around 100 farmers are engaged in commercial agriculture in the area where he lives.
As per the Parbat District Agricultural Office (DAO), farmers have to submit a recommendation letter from the village service centre, land ownership certificates,
official papers on the estimated cost of their crops and projected earnings from sales of the crops to buy a farm insurance policy.
Agreeing with local farmers, Basudev Regmi, senior officer at the DAO, said cumbersome paperwork was the main reason slowing
down demand for agricultural insurance products in the
“We are encouraging farmers to insure their crops. However, they are not showing much interest in doing so,” he said.
To facilitate the process of insuring crops and promote agricultural insurance, the Ministry of Agriculture Development deployed a liaison officer as the focal person for farm insurance last year.
Ajay Adhikari, the liaison officer at the DAO, said his office was disseminating information to farmers visiting the DAO.
According to the office, a large volume of crops was damaged by hailstone and frost this year. “If the process of purchasing insurance had been simplified, more farmers would have insured their crops,” Regmi said.
Commercial farming is being carried out in Katuwachaupari, Shankar Pokhari, Dhairing, Nanglibang, Durlung, Mallaj, Barrachaur, Pang and Papaltari of Parbat district.