"To compensate farmers and horticulturists for the loss suffered by them due to untimely rains and heavy snow, the state government has released Rs 9.14 crore under the Disaster Relief Fund to the affected, which is the ever largest cover for the first time," an official release here said.

Besides, various horticultural and agri-inputs have been provided to the affected farmers under Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) on a pilot basis to safeguard the horticulture industry which is a major revenue earner for the state.

The state government has extended the insurance scheme to all blocks in 2015-16 and during the last two years 1,06,113 farmers were covered under the scheme for which the government was paying 25 percent of premium share amounting to Rs 12.33 crore to the insurance companies to compensate the losses.

The Agriculture Insurance Company (AIC) of India Limited, HDFC ERGO and ICICI Lombard will be the implementing agencies for the 'hailstorm add on cover' for 2014-15 Rabi season.

During 2013-14, 64,782 farmers were covered for apple crop, who had insured 1.26 crore trees, for which the state government had borne 25 percent premium share of Rs 6.17 crore subsidy with a claim of Rs 8.14 crore.

During Rabi season 2014-15, the scheme has been extended for apple crop from 17 to 35 blocks and for mango crop to 42 blocks.

The additional fruit crop namely citrus (kinnow) has been covered in 14 blocks, plum in 12 blocks and peach in four development blocks.

During Rabi 2014-15 Add on/Index Plus scheme for hailstorm under the WBCIS will be implemented in Shimla, Kullu and Mandi districts and the apple crop which has already been insured by the farmers under the WBCIS for the Rabi season 2014-15 shall also be covered under the Add on/Index cover.

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