Kozhikode: Farmers will get six times more compensation for crop damage based on the type of crop, Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar said. The scheme will be implemented from next agriculture season.

The order increasing the crop damage compensation will be issued next week, the Minister said while inaugurating the harvest festival at Avala Pandi in Cheruvannur of Kozhikode district.

The government aims to ensure maximum support for the farmers by making crop insurance compulsory. Officials of agriculture department will meet farmers personally and help them enrol in to the insurance scheme.

As the compensation increases, the premium will also go up. At present, the premium for insuring a banana tree is Rs 5 and the compensation is Rs 50. If the amount of compensation is increased to Rs 300, the premium will go up to Rs 7.

The compensation amount for one-hectare paddy including insurance will be hiked to Rs 35,000 from Rs 25,000. The insurance premium for this is Rs 100.

The rice produced in the state will be branded and sold locally. Fund will be allocated for setting up rice mills in the next budget.

The government aims to double rice production in five years. However, the drought is an obstacle to achieve this goal. It is estimated that crops on 30,000 hectares have been destroyed due to water scarcity. This may create a shortage of 1.5 lakh ton rice in the state.

The state government plans to establish a regional collective of farmers on the lines of Amul to increase vegetable farming and production. Organic farming will be encouraged.