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Satellite-based data to improve crop insurance for farmers: CM Fadnavis

In view of the rising incidence of farmers’ suicides and delay in settlement of insurance schemes, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday said a pilot project of satellite-based survey at field-level to improve crop insurance schemes will cover 500 villages.

“The government is in the process of identifying the villages where satellite-based survey would be conducted and data would be collected at the village level on individual crop fields. It will be the first of its kind in the country,” Fadnavis told reporters after chairing a state-level kharif crop preparation and planning review meeting.

The government has decided to advance the date of crop loan rescheduling from June 30 to June 15, from a period of five years to three years, Fadnavis said.

“In the first year, there will be no levy of interest while later it would be six per cent. Similarly, in areas where district co-operative banks are defunct, nationalised banks have been asked to provide loans to the farmers. There will be taluka level monitoring of the same,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that IMD had predicted 93 per cent rainfall of Long Period Average (LPA) while a private weather forecaster Skymet has forecast 103 percent rainfall.

“We have planned kharif sowing accordingly. Nearly 10 lakh farmers will be given details of the IMD forecast and advisory regularly. Our endeavour will be to increase the registration of farmers from 10 lakh to 50 lakh for SMS updates,” he said adding that last year the state had received 70 per cent rainfall.

There are 54 automated weather stations in the state which will be increased to 2,059 weather and rain-forecasting stations. At gram panchayat level, kiosks and LEDs would be set up to give weather details and advisories regarding their crops on regular basis.

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