In order to boost the safety of farmers’ crops and ensure maximum benefit of crop insurance reaches to farmers, the Government of India has allocated Rs 16,000 crore for Central crop insurance scheme, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) for the fiscal year 2021-22. This is a budgetary increase of around Rs 305 crore as against the previous fiscal year 2020-21, the Ministry of Agriculture has said.
The scheme extends coverage for the entire cropping cycle from pre-sowing to post-harvest including coverage for losses arising out of prevented sowing and mid-season adversities.
Five years ago, on January 13, 2016, the Government of India approved this flagship crop insurance scheme. The scheme was conceived as a milestone initiative to provide a comprehensive risk solution at the lowest uniform premium across the country for farmers.
Today, PMFBY is globally the largest crop insurance scheme in terms of farmer participation and 3rd largest in terms of premium. Over 5.5 crore farmer applications are received on year-on-year basis, the ministry has informed.
Over the past 5 years, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has worked towards revamping the Pradhan Mantri Fasa lBima Yojana (PMFBY) scheme by relooking at the structural, logistical, and other challenges. The scheme was made voluntary for farmers post its revamp in 2020.
The scheme has made it easier for the farmer to report crop loss within 72 hours of occurrence of any event through the Crop Insurance App, CSC Centre or the nearest agriculture officer. Claim benefit is then provided electronically into the bank accounts of eligible farmer, the Agriculture Ministry has said..
Integration of land records with the PMFBY portal, Crop Insurance mobile-app for easy enrollment of farmers and usage of technology such as satellite imagery, remote-sensing technology, drones, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to assess crop losses are some of the key features of the scheme. .
According to the ministry, as of now. out of total farmers enrolled under PMFBY, 84 percent are small and marginal farmers. Thus, financial assistance is provided to most vulnerable farmers.
The government’s aim is to resolve structural, logistical, and other challenges, and expand the benefit of PMFBY.
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