HYDERABAD: Crops over an extent of nearly 5 lakh acres have been damaged due to recent heavy rains across the state, according to preliminary estimates put up by the agriculture department.
However, there is no chance for farmers in the state to claim compensation as the state government opted out of the Centre's Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana Scheme (PMFBY), a crop insurance scheme, in May 2020 and failed to bring its own insurance policy as promised at that time.
Despite all this, there is still a provision for the Telangana government to secure compensation in the form of input subsidy of up to Rs 10,000 per acre from the Centre if the state government undertakes a ground-level survey of damaged crops of agriculture lands survey-number wise and submit details to the Centre.
But the agriculture department has no plans to take up this survey saying that they have no instructions from 'higher-ups' in this regard.
Official sources in the agriculture department said, "The instructions to take up ground-level survey of agriculture lands survey number wise to assess the damage caused to crops should come from the state government. But there are no such instructions."
"No compensation can be claimed from the Centre based on preliminary estimates. Collectors in the respective districts should obtain reports on preliminary estimates on crop loss from agriculture and revenue officials and submit them to the state government. But these preliminary estimates hold no value at the Centre. They want a comprehensive survey with details of how much loss incurred in each survey number of agricultural land. It requires huge staff, a lot of time and effort," sources added.
With Telangana continuing to receive good rains right from the beginning of this monsoon in June, farmers undertook kharif agriculture activities in full swing. The normal cultivation area for kharif in Telangana state is 1.16 crore acres. However, crops were already sown over an extent of 82.49 lakh acres till July 22, achieving 70.7 percent of the normal cultivation area.
Sowings of rainfed crops like jowar, bajra, maize, ragi, pulses, groundnut, soybean, cotton etc was taken up on a large scale since June. However, the sudden heavy rains damaged all these crops especially in north Telangana districts of combined Adilabad, Nizamabad, Warangal and Karimnagar districts.
Cotton, pulses and paddy remain the worst affected. The government encouraged the cultivation of cotton and pulses to a large extent this kharif over paddy.
Neighbouring Andhra Pradesh too opted out of PMFBY but Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy brought in AP government's own crop insurance policy in July 2019, bearing the entire premium amount on behalf of farmers and extending compensation to farmers during natural disasters.