For the first time Maharashtra will extend insurance for damaged crops after factoring in fluctuations in the weather conditions. As per a new policy, a correlation between weather patterns and crop damages will be assessed before deciding the premium or the compensation to be paid to farmers, senior officials told The Hindu.The new Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) was announced on Wednesday. A 15-member committee has also been formed to set parameters for the scheme. “So far a committee of bureaucrats along with farm representatives would sit down and decide an amount. But we want to now scientifically establish these correlations between productivity/weather changes, losses and wind conditions,” additional chief secretary (agriculture department) Bijay Kumar told The Hindu.The variables for considering a correlation would, among others, be wind speed, and drop and rise in temperature, which could affect all kinds of crops. The 15-member committee will put in place further guidelines and a scientific model for connecting the weather patterns to damages. “If the temperature drops, how will it affect the quality of mango quality. When the wind changes directions it hurts the productivity of bananas. These are the kind of parameters we want to put in place for the WBCIS,” said an official.The committee has been asked to establish parameters for two specific standards: Trigger Value and Weather Perils. This will then assess quantifiable losses based on weather patterns. “We want to establish demonstrated correlation with historical weather and yield data,” according to the government proposal.