SEHORE, MADHYA PRADESH: : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced a new national agriculture market platform which will enable them, using a mobile phone, to sell their produce anywhere in the country, wherever they can get a better price. The digital platform will launch on April 14, the birthday anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar.
April 14 this year falls a day after the harvest festival of Baisakhi celebrated in parts of North India, particularly the agriculture-dominated states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
“We are setting up a National Agriculture Market, a virtual and digital platform, in the coming days,” PM Modi told farmers in Madhya Pradesh’s Sehore district while addressing the first of the Kisan Kalyan (Farmers’ Welfare) meetings. He also unveiled details of the recently-launched Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme.
“For Rabi we will not take more than 1.5 per cent premium and 2 per cent for Kharif. Even if there is only one farmer affected because of rain etc, then we will not survey the whole village but on individual basis give the farmer the insurance money. If there are no rains and farmer has not sown crops, even then we will pay the farmer compensation,” Mr Modi said, addressing farmers directly.
“Earlier it used to take a lot of time to process insurance claims so we have decided that 25 per cent of the amount will be given immediately and remaining, soonest,” the Prime Minister said.
At a time when seven states are facing drought, the Mr Modi addressed several concerns that farmers have raised about on how the new crop insurance policy will work.
“Till now we have not been getting the insurance amount. Now, the eligibility for area of affected crop has been lowered which will be quite beneficial. The soil health card that he spoke about, I have personally benefitted from it,” said farmer Jandel Singh, who had come to the farmer’s meeting.
But farmers who attended said they were also concerned about whether all promises will translate into action on the ground.
“The same machinery which was processing the earlier crop insurance scheme will be doing it for the new policy. So at the moment we cannot say anything for sure,” said Ishwarlal Yadav, another farmer. “We haven’t got our due insurance amount (from the past). The farmer does not trust insurance policy. Now unless we get the benefits we cannot comment on it,” he said.