The Prawn Farmers Federation of India (PFFI) has demanded subsidy on the premium for insurance coverage of shrimp aquaculture crops in the country. The vagaries of weather and frequent cyclones damage crops every year causing serious financial losses to farmers in the coastal region.
“Every year shrimp farmers of some parts of the country invariably face natural calamities, as the majority of the farms are located in the coastal region. The latest is the cyclones in West Bengal and Maharashtra. The infrastructures on the farms were destroyed. Crops were damaged. There is no affordable insurance coverage for their losses. Aquaculture is not covered under the Prime Minister’s National Crop insurance Schemes, nor under the National Natural Calamity Relief Schemes,” said I P Mohan Raju, President, PFFI.
Today, in a letter to Dr. Rajeev Rnjan, Secretary-Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India, the Federation highlighted the problems of the farmers including the cumbersome farm registration process, lack of institutional financing and insurance coverage, dearth of certified inputs, accredited labs, and unavailability of the domestic market network for shrimp products.
Citing the reasons for the lack of insurance coverage for shrimp farms, the Federation said, “The scheme is yet to take off due to the high cost of premium”.
Estimating the overall cost of insurance to cover all the Shrimp farmers in the country at about ₹1000 crores, the PFFI has urged the Government to look into the subsidy on insurance premiums which will also help the small and marginal farmers to a great extent.
The Union Government has announced a special scheme Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) with an investment of 20050 crore rupees for a period of five years for the sustainable development of the fisheries sector. The Government has also set an ambitious target of producing 22 million metric tons of fish and double the export earnings to 1 lakh crore by 2024-25.