India cabinet approves new crop insurance scheme - govt source

by Reuters
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 07:58 GMT

A farmer channels water to irrigate his wheat field on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, Dec. 15, 2015. REUTERS/Amit Dave

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Country's first major crop damage insurance scheme for farmers is Modi's first big move to address rural hardship

NEW DELHI, Jan 13 (Reuters) - India's federal cabinet on Wednesday ratified the country's first major crop damage insurance scheme for farmers, a government source said, in what is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first significant move to address rural hardship.

The impact of unseasonal rains and two straight years of drought on agriculture that sustains over two-thirds of India's 1.25 billion people has dented Modi's popularity in the countryside, contributing to a humiliating loss for the premier in elections last year in the largely rural state of Bihar.

Federal farm minister Radha Mohan Singh said last week that New Delhi will launch the crop insurance scheme in the fiscal year starting April 1.

(Reporting by Nigam Prusty; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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