Madhya Pradesh prepares to roll out new crop insurance across 51 districts

Madhya Pradesh prepares to roll out new crop insurance across 51 districts

Our bureau
Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh), June 22:

Shambhu Singh, from Sonpur village who has around 46 acre of agricultural land, is quite upbeat and prepared land for kharif soyabean crop, which would be sown shortly with the onset of monsoon. Many farmers like Singh in this village are optimists about kharif crops including soyabean, pulses and paddy this year despite deficit monsoon and localised hailstorm adversely impacting the crop output last year.

Optimism of Singh and many other farmers in this village comes from the newly launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) which comes with not only a lower premium but also faster settlement of dues in a case of crop losses. “The promise of faster settlement and lower premium besides coverage of local calamity like hailstorm and failed sowing is really attractive for farmers like us,” Singh said.

The Madhya Pradesh government has already short-listed three insurance companies – state owned – Agriculture Insurance Company of India (AIC) and two private sector players ICICI Lombard and HDFC Ergo for providing crop insurance across 51 districts of the state. AIC has been asked to implement PMFBY in 31 districts rest of districts have been divided equally between private sector insurance majors.

In the new crop insurance, the surveyor from the insurance company would assess the extent of the damage and settle the claim for the farmers while in the earlier scheme the crop cutting exercise was time consuming thus leading delays in settlement.

For kharif soyabean crop this season, the ‘scale of finance’ for this district has been fixed at Rs 17, 600 per hectare for which farmers have to have to pay only Rs 352 towards premium which the farmers have to pay by August 16. Similarly, the scale of finance arrived in consultation with bankers, insurance companies, government officials and farmers, has been fixed at Rs 22,500 per hectare (groundnut), Rs 17,100 per hectare (moong) and Rs 17,100 per hectare (urad). Similarly scale of finance for each of the kharif crops have been fixed for each of the 51 districts taking into various factors such as yield, irrigation availability and vulnerability to climate change.

According to Rajesh Rajora, Principal Secretary, Agriculture, of Madhya Pradesh, out of one crore farmers in the state, earlier only around 27% who had availed agricultural credit were covered under crop insurance. “But we have set an ambitious target of covering atleast 50% of the farmers in both kharif and rabi seasons in the next three years,” Rajora said. However he admitted that the challenge is include those farmers who have not availed agricultural credit from banks under the PMFBY.

According the state agriculture department data, the earlier crop insurance schemes – National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS) which was discontinued following the launch of PMFBY had a sluggish start in the state during 1999-2012 as the state allocated only Rs 1900 crore during these 13 years. However during FY13-FY15, the state government has allocated more than Rs 5800 crore towards crop insurance. As per the budget estimate of FY17, Madhya Pradesh has allocated Rs 1200 crore towards PMFBY which launched from this kharif season

Under the PMFBY which being implemented from kharif season of 2016, the premium paid by farmers had been reduced to 2% of the insured value for the more rain-dependent kharif crop and 1.5% for the rabi season, compared with 3.5-8% charged in the earlier scheme. The subsidy would be borne by the Centre and the state government concerned equally. For PMFBY, finance minister Arun Jaitley had allocated Rs 5,501 crore in 2016-17 while Rs 2,995 crore was allocated for various crop insurance schemes in the previous fiscal.