A delegation led by Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju met the Agriculture Minister recently to push forward a proposal for setting up at least six agriculture universities in the North-East. The delegation had also proposed for the commencement of a few research centers in the states at an estimated cost of over Rs 700 crore.

The delegation submitted a memorandum before the Agriculture Minister, highlighting the requirements of the north-eastern region in the areas of agricultural education and research.

According to sources, the memorandum also focused on upgrading the infrastructure of the existing agriculture institutions.

Agriculture Minister writes to CMs seeking views on farm insurance scheme

The Agriculture Minister has also sought suggestions from Chief Ministers by end of this month to evolve a suitable insurance scheme for the benefit of farmers.
"We are desirous of introducing a new crop insurance scheme to protect the farmers against both yield and price fluctuations. I would appreciate if your suggestions are sent to us by end of July," Singh said in the letter.
A Farmer Income Insurance Scheme (FIIS), introduced during 2003-04 on pilot basis in 22 districts of 14 states, was later dropped. This scheme aimed to protect farmers' incomes by integrating production with prices, he said.
Since last year, several state governments have been implementing the New National Crop Insurance Programme, which was formulated by merging pilot Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS) and Pilot Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) and adding certain features for the benefit of farmers.
Some states, on their request, have been allowed to continue to implement the National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) during this year.
The NAIS was introduced in 1999-2000 to protect farmers against crop losses due to natural calamities like drought and floods. Premium rates under this scheme are highly subsidized and the responsibility for payment of claims over and above the amount collected as premium is shared equally by the centre and states.
The WBCIS was introduced on pilot basis in 2007 to provide insurance protection to farmers against adverse weather such as deficit/excess rainfall, high/low temperature and humidity, which adversely impacts agricultural production.


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