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Marginal farmers’ involvement in crop insurance schemes declining

Marginal farmers' involvement in crop insurance schemes declining

In the last three years, the involvement of marginal farmers and those from the general category in the Central government’s PMFBY (Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana) has decreased. Simultaneously, the number of OBC farmers opting for PMFBY has increased significantly.

According to data published on the Ministry of Agriculture’s PMFBY website, the number of marginal farmers has decreased from 18.08% in 2018 to 16.55% in 2020, out of total farmers in the group of marginal, small, and other farmers who selected for crop insurance during the Kharif season.

Small-scale farmers

During the same time span, it fell from 19.18% to 17.39% for the Rabi season. A large proportion of farmers who choose the insurance system are small farms. Participation of small farmers in the plan exceeds 60% in both the Kharif and Rabi seasons. During the last two cropping seasons, small farmers’ participation in the plan has increased.

Also Read: ₹90,000 Cr disbursed to farmers under PMFBY Scheme over five years

According to the Agricultural Census, marginal farmers own less than one hectare of land, whereas small farmers own between one and two hectares.

Small and marginal holdings (less than two hectares) account for 86.21% of total landholdings. Marginal, small, and medium landholdings account for the majority of cultivated land, whereas big landholdings account for only 9% of total operating area.

The percentage of general category farmers participating in the programme has consistently fallen from 45% in 2018 to 35.50% in 2020 for Kharif and from 51.94% to 41.79% for Rabi in the group of SC, ST, general, and OBC farmers.

However, the proportion of OBC farmers using PMFBY has increased from 41.73% in 2018 to 49.15% in 2020 for Kharif and from 37.84% to 47.39% for Rabi during the same time period.

Between 2018 and 2020, the percentage of SC and ST farmers stayed below 9% for Rabi and Kharif. Male farmers dominate the insurance scheme’s chart. Despite the fact that women work in fields, men still own the land. But there is a glimmer of optimism. According to the tenth Agricultural Census, the percentage of female landholders has climbed from 12.79% in 2010-11 to 13.87% in 2015-16.

Claims have been paid

The PMFBY was introduced by the government in 2016 with the goal of improving crop risk coverage for farmers. Premium costs in excess of the farmer share are subsidised equally by the states and the federal government.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the average sum insured per acre has increased from ₹15,100 in pre-PMFBY schemes to ₹40,700 in PMFBY schemes. Year after year, the programme receives over 5.5 crore farmer applications. According to Ministry data issued in January 2021, claims over ₹90,000 crore have already been paid out under the plan.

Also Read: Govt to prioritizes 10 crore small and marginal farmers – President

‘Even during the Covid-19 shutdown times, approximately 70 lakh farmers have benefited and claims totaling ₹8,741.30 crore were transferred to the farmers.’

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