New Delhi: At least 50 percent of the country's farmers should be included in the crop insurance scheme launched by the government over the next two years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.
In his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat, the prime minister expressed concern over the fact that only 20 to 25 percent farmers have so far been covered under the crop insurance schemes.
"We have been talking about crop insurance for years, but not more than 20-25 percent farmers have been able to benefit from it. Can we pledge that in the next one to two years, at least 50 percent of the farmers will be brought under insurance? I need your help in this," Narendra Modi said.
The 'Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana' (Prime Minister's Crop Insurance Scheme), approved by the union cabinet recently, gives insurance cover against crop loss due to natural calamities, and has lower premium rates.
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"A lot is said about farmers in our country... I will not get into those debates, but the biggest problem faced by a farmer is when he loses his hard work to a natural calamity," the prime minister said.
"There is only one way to give them protection, that is crop insurance. In 2016, we have given a big gift to the farmers -- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana," he said.
He urged the listeners to take the message to the farmers.