During the present monsoon season, more than seven lakh farmers in Maharashtra have contacted insurance companies to report crop damage caused by excessive rainfall, according to officials.
Crop insurance company officials must personally visit the farms to evaluate the damages, and the farmers will receive the insurance amount based on their fact sheet, they stated.
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‘A total of 2,56,985 emails were received until August 1st from farmers across the Maharashtra state informing them of extremely heavy rains that caused crop damage. By September 1, the number of such calls had risen to 4,15,747, with a peak of 5,53,491 on September 9. In the last two days, the number of such calls has surpassed seven lakh,’ agricultural commissionerate’s chief statistical officer Vinaykumar Awate, says the state.
According to the official, the figures could rise further because data from calls made over the weekend will be updated in the system on Monday.
In addition to crop damage, the farmers reported washing away of their farm soil, damage to cattle sheds, and other issues, he said.
According to him, the number of such calls from farmers increased dramatically after heavy rains lashed the state’s region last week.
In response to a question, the official stated, ‘We met with officials from the Union government last week and discussed the issue.’ In the aftermath of the heavy rains in the Marathwada region and north Maharashtra, the central government has increased its technical assistance to assist us in accepting a greater number of such calls.
He previously stated that there were glitches in the system due to an increase in the number of such calls from farmers, which would clog phone lines or cause servers to go down.
‘However, with the assistance of the Union government, we were able to address these issues; in addition to phone calls, other options are also available for farmers to register their names with insurance companies for damage survey,’ he added.
Since the implementation of the crop insurance scheme for farmers, insurers have been required to record every such call from cultivators.
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Farmers can report crop damage by calling a number provided by the insurance company, sending an e-mail, or contacting the local revenue officer. They can also notify their local bank branch, which will send an update to the state agriculture department via the common portal.
The call must be made within 72 hours of a farmer’s crop damage. Farmers can also use an app to report crop damage, according to officials.