Govt to make farmer-friendly changes to PMFBY to respond to climate catastrophe
The Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday that it is willing to make farmer-friendly changes to the flagship Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in order to respond to the climate catastrophe.
Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja predicted that crop insurance demand will rise because farming is directly vulnerable to climate disasters. To offer adequate insurance protection to farmers, a greater emphasis on crop and other types of rural/ agricultural insurance products is required.
Speaking at the PMFBY’s annual review meeting, Ahuja stated that digitisation and technology play a vital role in expanding the reach and operation of crop insurance through precision agriculture. The marriage of agri-tech and rural insurance could be the golden combination for financial inclusion, allowing trust in the system to flourish.
Weather Information and Network Data Systems (WINDS), Yield Estimation System based on Technology (YES-Tech), and the Collection of Real Time Observations and Photographs of Crops (CROPIC), according to Ahuja, will increase efficiency and transparency. In Chhattisgarh, an integrated help-line system is being tested in order to resolve farmers’ problems in real time, he added.
He stated that certain states’ withdrawal from the PMFBY programme was mostly due to their inability to pay the state’s portion of premium subsidies. After Andhra Pradesh returned to the PMFBY fold in July 2022, the Centre is hoping that other states, including Telangana, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, and Jharkhand, will do the same.
Farmers have paid ₹ 25,186 crore as their share of premium during the last six years, whereas ₹ 1,25,662 crore has been given to farmers against their claims. The 2018 edition adds several new core features, including expanding the crop loss notification period for farmers from 48 to 72 hours. The amended 2020 rules included voluntary enrollment and add-on coverage for wildlife assaults.