PMFBY: Using satellite imagery for assessing farmers crops

PMFBY: Using satellite imagery for assessing farmers crops

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) envisages use of improved technology to reduce time gap for settlement of claims of farmers. Accordingly, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, through Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC), involved eight agencies/ organisations to carry out pilot studies for Optimization of Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) in various states under PMFBY. The studies used various technologies, including satellite data, artificial intelligence (AI), modeling tools among various others for reducing the number of CCEs required for insurance unit level for yield estimation. The studies were taken upto address a major issue of the need to carry out large number of CCEs for calculation of yield data vis-à-vis claims at gram panchayat level. The results are being evaluated for providing recommendations for their implementation in the upcoming seasons, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar said in the Rajya Sabha today.

Further, an Expression of Interest (EOI) was floated with a view to migrate to technology based assessment of yield with minimum use of CCEs for Kharif 2019 season. Forty six agencies participated in the EOI, out of which 26 agencies have been shortlisted on technical assessment, the minister added.

The government is also using satellite imagery to assess the crop area, crop condition and crop yield, at district level, under various programmes such as Forecasting Agricultural Output Using Space, Agrometeorology & Land based observations and Coordinated Horticulture Assessment and Management using Geo-informatics. Further, satellite data is also being used for drought assessment, to assess the potential area for growing pulses and horticultural crops, Tomar informed the Parliament.
With a view to ensure better transparency, accountability, timely payment of claims to the farmers and to make the scheme more farmer friendly, the Government of India has comprehensively revised the Operational Guidelines of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) which have become effective from Rabi 2018-19 season. Provision of 12 percent interest rate per annum to be paid by the insurance company to farmers for delay in settlement claims beyond 10 days of prescribed cut-off date for payment of claims. As the settlement of claims for Rabi 2018-19 season is underway, the admissible penal interest is not yet worked out, he added.

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