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List of 80,000 sericulture farmers sent for insurance coverage

By Ajit Patowary
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GUWAHATI, Dec 16 - The State has sent a list of around 80,000 sericulture farmers to the Central Silk Board to avail benefits under the Board-sponsored comprehensive insurance scheme for the farmers of the sector and their crops � the silkworms.

Disclosing this, State sericulture director Mukta Nath Saikia told this correspondent that all district and subdivisional officials of the department have been asked to submit proposals for insurance cover to sericulture farmers and their crops.

It needs mention here that about ten years back (1992-1997), there was a UNDP-sponsored crop insurance and women farmers� health insurance scheme in the sector. The National Insurance Corporation was appointed its executing agency. But due to some incomprehensible reasons, the crop insurance scheme was discontinued in 1997. The scheme for the women farmers was also discontinued in 2010-11.

In the sericulture sector, insurance for the muga farmers and their crops is of elemental importance, as, because of their wild nature, muga worms are more exposed to diseases, natural calamities, pollutants, etc. The other two varieties of worms in the sector � eri and mulberry � can be reared indoors and hence, they could be protected from the attacks of many pests, pollutants and so from many diseases, Saikia said.

Lengthening of the summer season, frequent fluctuation in the diurnal, monthly and annual temperatures, under the impact of the climate change phenomenon, have been hitting the muga farmers hard nowadays. Muga worms are highly sensitive to such developments.

The hailstorms and thundershowers during the monsoon also affect muga worms. Moreover, use of pesticides by tea estates has emerged as a major threat to muga worms. Spraying of pesticides within a 2-km radius of muga farms may prove fatal to the worms. Again, the pests driven out by such pesticides also attack the muga worms, he said.

The smoke emitted by industries like the Oil India Ltd and the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd and other industrial units are also affecting muga worms. Predators like birds, monkeys, snakes, mongooses, foxes, etc., also feast upon the hapless muga worms.

The phenomenon of flash flood during the rainy season has also been found to be damaging for the muga crops, Saikia said.

The comprehensive insurance scheme for the sericulture sector was started in January this year and it had to cover the high-priority sector cluster by February last, medium priority sector by March last and the remaining priority sectors by April last.

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List of 80,000 sericulture farmers sent for insurance coverage

GUWAHATI, Dec 16 - The State has sent a list of around 80,000 sericulture farmers to the Central Silk Board to avail benefits under the Board-sponsored comprehensive insurance scheme for the farmers of the sector and their crops � the silkworms.

Disclosing this, State sericulture director Mukta Nath Saikia told this correspondent that all district and subdivisional officials of the department have been asked to submit proposals for insurance cover to sericulture farmers and their crops.

It needs mention here that about ten years back (1992-1997), there was a UNDP-sponsored crop insurance and women farmers� health insurance scheme in the sector. The National Insurance Corporation was appointed its executing agency. But due to some incomprehensible reasons, the crop insurance scheme was discontinued in 1997. The scheme for the women farmers was also discontinued in 2010-11.

In the sericulture sector, insurance for the muga farmers and their crops is of elemental importance, as, because of their wild nature, muga worms are more exposed to diseases, natural calamities, pollutants, etc. The other two varieties of worms in the sector � eri and mulberry � can be reared indoors and hence, they could be protected from the attacks of many pests, pollutants and so from many diseases, Saikia said.

Lengthening of the summer season, frequent fluctuation in the diurnal, monthly and annual temperatures, under the impact of the climate change phenomenon, have been hitting the muga farmers hard nowadays. Muga worms are highly sensitive to such developments.

The hailstorms and thundershowers during the monsoon also affect muga worms. Moreover, use of pesticides by tea estates has emerged as a major threat to muga worms. Spraying of pesticides within a 2-km radius of muga farms may prove fatal to the worms. Again, the pests driven out by such pesticides also attack the muga worms, he said.

The smoke emitted by industries like the Oil India Ltd and the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd and other industrial units are also affecting muga worms. Predators like birds, monkeys, snakes, mongooses, foxes, etc., also feast upon the hapless muga worms.

The phenomenon of flash flood during the rainy season has also been found to be damaging for the muga crops, Saikia said.

The comprehensive insurance scheme for the sericulture sector was started in January this year and it had to cover the high-priority sector cluster by February last, medium priority sector by March last and the remaining priority sectors by April last.