India - Bihar State Government launches fisheries insurance policy.

Date: July 4, 2011

Bihar on Friday became the only state in the country to launch Fisheries Insurance Policy for the fish farmers. The Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Resources minister Giriraj Singh launched the policy in the presence of officials of Oriental Insurance Company Limited.

Singh said the state government has planned to make radical changes in the agriculture-animal husbandry sector. He said that fisheries sector in Bihar must be developed as the state has vast resources of water. "At the meeting of Agriculture cabinet, CM Nitish Kumar desired to achieve a threefold increase in fish production in the state," Singh said and added that at present the fish production is about 1,000kg per hectare.

The minister said that consumption of fish in the state is more than production. "We are producing 3 lakh kg fishes every year while the consumption is about 4.50 lakh kg." He said the state government is planning to revive the traditional ponds and reservoirs to produce fish.

Describing the insurance policy as a unique one, he urged the officials of Oriental Insurance Company Limited to work transparently. He also handed over a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to the chief regional manager of the company on the occasion.

The minister also urged different banks to be liberal in providing loans. "The bankers are quite conservative in Bihar," he said.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries secretary Sudhir Kumar said that it is for the first time in Bihar that such an insurance policy had been launched with a view to increasing the production of fishes to nine lakh tonnes by 2017.

Kumar said the premium amount had been fixed at Rs 3,200 per hectare. The state government would give an insurance subsidy of Rs 1,600 per hectare and the rest would be borne by fish farmers.

Director, Fisheries, Nishat Ahmad said that when the state government had prepared the Agriculture Roadmap, it was also decided to launch the fisheries policy. He said that though an MoU had been signed with the Oriental Insurance Company Limited on March 26, 2010, the policy was launched today.

Oriental Insurance Company Limited general manager (GM) N K Singh said that insurance cover had been given to fishes including Rohu, Katla, Mrigal, Common Karp, Silver Carp and several other recognized varieties. He said that the cover has been given for diseases, pollution, rioting, terrorists' activities, any nefarious act by a third party, flood and natural calamities.

He said that in case of destruction of fishes due to aforesaid causes, the farmer would have to inform the nearest office of the insurance company and submit death certificate, laboratory certificate and description of the loss suffered.

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