The Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday termed the crop insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) as the third largest crop insurance scheme in the World. It said that around 5 crore farmer applications are being received under the scheme every year.
The acceptability of the scheme has increased amongst the farmers in the last 6 years, with the share of non-loanee farmers, marginalised farmers and small farmers increasing by 282 per cent since the initiation of the scheme in 2016, said the Ministry.
In the last 6 years, Rs 25,186 crore have been paid by farmers as the premium, wherein Rs 1,25,662 crore have been paid to the farmers against their claims as on October 31, 2022 with Central and State Governments bearing most of the premium under the scheme.
The Ministry said that a factually incorrect news report (as has been observed in the matter of the examined case) was published in some sections of the media stating that a paltry sum of insurance claims being paid to the farmers in certain districts of Maharashtra.
As per the Ministry, the scheme is being implemented on actuarial/bidded premium rates however, farmers including small farmers have to pay maximum 2 per cent for Kharif, 1.5 per cent for Rabi food and oilseed crops and 5 per cent for commercial/horticultural crops respectively. Premium over and above these limits is shared by the Central and State Governments on 50:50 basis except in North Eastern Region where it is 90:10 from Kharif 2020. The scheme operates on the insurance principles, therefore the extent of area insured, extent of damage occurred, sum insured are the important determinants in arriving at the claim amount.
A top official of the Ministry said that digitisation and technology are playing a significant role in scaling up the reach and operations of PMFBY with precision agriculture. Union of agri-tech and rural insurance can be the magic formula for financial inclusion, enabling a trust in the scheme.
Recently introduced Weather Information and Network Data Systems (WINDS), Yield Estimation System based on Technology (YES-Tech), Collection of Real Time Observations and Photographs of Crops (CROPIC) are some of the key steps taken under the scheme to bring in more efficiency and transparency, added the official.