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Farmers in Odisha Protest Against Delay in Disbursement of Crop Insurance Money

According to the protesting farmers, HDFC Ergo insured their crop during the previous Kharif season. Over 90,000 farmers applied for PMFBY insurance and paid the premium for approximately 2 lakh hectares (ha) of farmland online.

Kritika Madhukar
Due to a lack of rainfall in the district, crops on approximately 72,000 ha were harmed
Due to a lack of rainfall in the district, crops on approximately 72,000 ha were harmed

Farmers in Bargarh's Padampur sub-division (Odisha) locked the doors of the offices of the Sub-Collector, block development officer (BDO), tehsil, and sub-treasury on Monday to protest the delay in the disbursement of insurance money under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) for crop loss during the previous Kharif season.

Hundreds of protesters rallied in front of the Sub-office Collector and later locked the main gate of the Padampur cooperative bank under the banner of Rajbodasambar Krushak Sangathan. The agitation was part of the earlier announced 'Jail Bharo Andolan' by the farmers' outfit.

However, due to a lack of rainfall in the district, crops on approximately 72,000 ha were harmed. The farmers expected to receive crop loss insurance money. However, despite receiving the premium, the insurance company has rejected approximately 63,000 applications, leaving farmers in despair, according to the protesters.

"The insurance company has rejected crop loss assertions without any concrete reason," farmer leader Ramesh Mohapatra said. It is unconcerned about the losses suffered by farmers. All applications should be approved, according to the provision, because farmers have paid the full premium and are entitled to their insurance money. We demand that funds be distributed to farmers as soon as possible."

Mohapatra went on to say that if their demand is not met soon, the farmers will escalate their protest.

Later in the day, the agitating farmers met with the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) of Bargarh Mirdha Toppo. "We have initiated talks with the farmers and are attempting to persuade them to call off the agitation," Toppo said. Farmers continued their strike until the last reports came in.

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