Request to put weather data in the public domain: The Tribune India


Tribune press service

Shimla, June 27

To make weather-based crop insurance payouts more transparent, private companies operating weather stations that collect data for agricultural insurance companies will be asked to make their data public.

Proposal soon

The Department of Horticulture will send a proposal to the government, in which a request will be made to compel companies to put weather data in the public domain and share it with farmers and fruit growers – GS Jhobta, Co-Director, Horticulture.

“The Department of Horticulture will send a proposal to the government, in which a request will be made to compel companies to put weather data in the public domain and share it with farmers and fruit growers,” said GS Jhobta, co-director , Horticulture.

The department came to this decision following a meeting with the delegation of Himachal Kisan Sabha and Seb Utpadak Sangh led by MP Rakesh Singha.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of insurance companies.

The delegation alleged that several beneficiaries were not receiving applications despite paying the premium under the scheme. “Apple growers and farmers have suffered damage from drought, storms, etc., over the past few years. Despite paying the bounty under this scheme, many have not received any compensation,” Singha said.

Singha said the main reason farmers were facing problems was the unavailability of weather data based on which companies decided to compensate in the public domain.

“Weather stations are run by private companies and they do not share data with beneficiaries. This makes the scheme very opaque, geared towards insurance companies. We need to make this program farmer-friendly by making it transparent,” Singha said.

Kuldeep Tanwar, president of Himachal Kisan Sabha, said the companies running the meteorological stations in Rajasthan send data to the government, from where it is distributed to all stakeholders. “Furthermore, Gujarat and Bengal have modified the PM Fasal Bima Yojna as per their needs making it more state specific and tailored to their needs. We also need to look at these states to make the insurance scheme more farmer-friendly here,” Tanwar said.

The Department of Horticulture has agreed to study insurance models in the above states.

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