New Delhi: Highlighting benefits of the just-announced Crop Insurance Scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said awareness about it should be spread across the country so that at least 50 percent of the farmers join it within two years.
In his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', he also pitched for continued efforts to popularise Khadi and awarness to save girl child, mentioned about the recently launched 'Start-Up India' programme and talked about the upcoming International Fleet Review to be held in Visakhapatnam.
Modi said he needs the "maximum help" from people about spreading awareness regarding the Pradhan Mantri Crop Insurance Scheme which was launched earlier this month.
"In our country, a lot is said in the name of farmers. I don't want to get involved in that debate. But farmers face a major crisis. In natural calamity, their entire effort goes waste. His one year goes waste. To give him security, only one thing comes to mind and that is crop insurance," he said in
this year's first edition of the monthly radio programme.
"In (the New Year) 2016, the central government has given a big gift to the farmers -- Pradhan Mantri Crop Insurance Scheme. This scheme has been brought not for the purpose that it should be praised or the Prime Minister should be hailed," he said.
The Prime Minister said that for so many years, there has been a talk regarding crop insurance but "not more than 20-25 percent" of the country's farmers had been been able to benefit from such schemes.
"Can we take a pledge that we should connect at least 50 percent of the farmers to this scheme in two years? I need this help from you. Because if a farmer joins the scheme, he will get huge help during a natural calamity," he said.
Modi said this time, the scheme has got "wide acceptability because it has been made quite extensive and easy and involves use of technology. Not only this. If something happens to the crop within 15 days after harvest, even then help is assured."
Usage of technology will ensure speedy assessment and disbursement of compensation, he said.
"The biggest thing is that the rate of premium has been kept so low which nobody would have imagined. The rate of premium for Kharif crop has been kept 2 percent while for Rabi crop it is one-and-a-half percent.
"Now tell me, if any farmer is deprived of the benefits of this scheme, will he not suffer loss? I want the awareness about this scheme to spread," he said.