NA pass motion to establish crop and livestock compensation trust fund

Farmers across the country can now get compensated for any damage to livestock and crops from wildlife and natural calamities. In today’s session of the parliament, the National Assembly passed the motion on the establishment of the crop and livestock compensation trust fund.

There have been numerous reports of farmers in Trongsa losing their cattle to tiger depredation and elephants frequenting agriculture fields damaging crops in the southern districts.

In addition, farmers in some parts of the country lose their harvest to untimely rainfall while some report crop damages due to lack of rainfall and other natural calamities.

According to Kilkhorthang_Mendrelgang MP Kamal Bahadur Gurung, in all these instances, farmers do not receive any monetary compensation despite policies and acts requiring the government to compensate farmers during such crises.

Highlighting these issues, the MP moved the motion to establish the crop and livestock compensation trust fund.

“I read the existing acts and policies which state that farmers will get the compensation but it is not clear who is responsible for providing the compensation and this has affected our farmers,” said Kamal Bahadur Gurung, Kilkhorthang-Mendrelgang’s MP.

To this, the minister for agriculture and livestock said that the ministry is currently working on developing crop and livestock insurance for selected commodities. The minister said in the insurance scheme, the government will provide 50 per cent compensation and the affected farmers will bear the remaining 50 per cent.

“The priority crops include rice, maize, potato, and orange. Likewise, priority livestock includes cattle, poultry, and piggery. The government cannot solely take the financial responsibility, so it would be beneficial to all if it is divided such as 50-50 compensation from the government and the farmers,” said Younten Phuntsho, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock.

Meanwhile, most of the MPs supported the establishment of the compensation trust fund.

“I support the establishment of the trust fund. Farmers are dependent on farming activities and livestock rearing. They work hard the whole year and it would benefit them if there is a trust fund for them. However, it is worrisome if the farmers will be able to bear the funding ratio of 50 per cent. It would be helpful to the farmers if the funding ratio is adjusted so that they will bear less than 50 per cent and the government will bear the majority of the compensation,” said Lhaba Lhaba, Khatoed-Laya’s MP.

The motion was adopted with 34 members voting for it, 1 abstaining, and 8 members voting against the motion.

However, regarding the government’s insurance scheme, some members expressed doubts over whether the farmers can bear the 50 per cent compensation cost.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock will submit an implementation report of the compensation trust fund in the next session of the National Assembly.

Deki Lhazom

Edited by Phub Gyem 

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