May 02, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Finance Ministry has expanded crop insurance that has so far covered paddy cultivation to five other food crops.
The government had already launched a two-year National Food Production Programme to ensure self-sufficiency in Potatoes, Big Onions, Chilies, Maize and Soya beans.
Now, farmers of these crops will receive crop insurance and will be paid compensation up to a maximum of 10,000 rupees per acre for damages to crops in times of a calamity.
“This agricultural insurance scheme is funded by 1% levy charged from the profits of all registered Banks, Financial institutions and the Insurance companies since 2013,” the finance ministry statement said.
“This 1% levy is credited to National Insurance Trust Fund from which the farmers are paid compensation through Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board.”
The government last year introduced the National Loan Protection Scheme to provide further relief to farmers who could not repay their bank loans due to damages caused to their crops.
The Loan Protection Scheme, which is supported by the 1 percent levy charged on Banks and financial institutions, will pay their banks loan outstanding after having assessed crop damages.
The government has estimated that a sum of 500 million rupees will have to be paid to banks in lieu of the loan obtained by the farmers during 2016/2017 maha season.
The National Insurance trust Fund since the introduction of 1 percent levy on profits of the Banks, financial and insurance institutions has so far received 5,069.81 million rupees and disbursed 3,932.34 million rupees.
Finance Ministry said another 500 million rupees has been earmarked for the Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board to provide relief to farmers under the National Loan Protection Scheme.