Apple farmers of Jumla turn to insurance to cover risks

Published On: April 11, 2019 08:48 AM NPT By: DB BUDHA

JUMLA, April 11: Apple farmers in Jumla are gradually getting attracted toward crop insurance program. More farmers are turning to crop insurance as its covers weather-related risks, saving them from unprecedented loss.

Devi Bahadur Sejuwal of Chandannath Municipality is the first farmer in the district to buy crop insurance policy. He says that insurance has really helped him minimize losses and cushioned him against weather-related risks. “Apple farming supports livelihood of many families in Jumla. However, many of us were incurring huge loss due to extreme weather events,” he said, adding: “We have now been able to cover losses by insuring our plants.”

Devi Bahadur has insured 150 of around 500 apple trees in his farm.

Apple farming insurance is gradually gaining ground in Mugu, Kalikot and Jumla districts of Karnali Province. Organic apples produced in Jumla have high demand in markets across the country.

Unfavorable weather patterns over the past two years cause apple production in Jumla to fall significantly. However, farmers did not face much huge loss as they had insured their crop. 

Amar Singh Rawal, a farmer of Chandannath Municipality, has insured 288 apple trees. Crop insurance has turned out to be a great boon for commercial farmers like Amar Singh. They do not have to face huge loss if their production falls as insurance money covers their losses. “I urge every farmer in the district to buy insurance policy,” said Amar Singh.

Of the eight local units in the district, farmers of Kanakasundari, Hima, and Tila rural municipalities are still to get crop insurance facility. 

Rishiram Pandey, in-charge of Shikhar Insurance Company for Karnali Province, said that his company has made repeated requests to these rural municipalities to encourage local farmers to buy crop insurance program. “But our requests seem to have fallen in deaf ears,” he added.

According to Pandey, 169 farmers of Chandannath Municipality have insured 13,930 apple trees. Similarly, 564 farmers of Patarasi Rural Municipality have bought insurance policy for 23,741 trees, and 165 farmers of Guthichaur have insured 571 trees.

Ram Krishna Budha Thapa, a leading farmer of Jumla, urged all concerned to take crop insurance program to all the villages. “About 14,000 locals of Jumla are into apple farming. However, many of them often have to suffer huge loss due to weather conditions. We need to tell farmers that insurance policies cover such risks,” he added.

Agro expert Sher Bahadur Bhandari insists that apple insurance is vital for commercial farmers. “During hailstorms and drought when production isn’t satisfactory, farmers get money from insurance companies. It will help them to offset their loss,” he added.

Insurance companies provide compensation to farmers based on the report of agriculture technicians.

Apple farming is done in 3,400 hectares of land in Jumla alone. 

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