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Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana completes 5 years of operation; govt urges farmers to take benefit of scheme

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NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday urged the farming community to take advantage of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), which has completed 5 years, in order to become “self-reliant farmers”. In a statement, the Union agriculture ministry said claims worth Rs 90,000 crore have so far been disbursed to farmers since the launch of the scheme on January 13, 2016.

Even during the COVID-19 lockdown period, nearly 70 lakh farmers benefitted and claims worth Rs 8,741.30 crore were transferred to the beneficiaries, it added.

“The Government of India urges farmers to take advantage of the scheme by associating themselves to become self-sufficient in times of crisis and support the creation of an Aatmanirbhar Kisan,” the ministry said.

The Centre is committed towards protecting the interests of the farmers, it said.

According to the ministry, the scheme covers over 5.5 crore farmer applications year-on-year. The Aadhaar seeding has helped in speedy claim settlement directly into the farmer accounts.

The scheme was made voluntary for all farmers, after its revamp in February 2020. Further, the states have also been provided flexibility to rationalise the sum insured so that adequate benefit can be availed by farmers, it said.

The PMFBY was conceived as a milestone initiative to provide a comprehensive risk solution at the lowest uniform premium across the country for farmers.

Under the scheme, premium cost over and above the farmer share is equally subsidised by states and the central government. However, the Centre’s share is 90 per cent of the premium subsidy for northeastern states to promote the uptake in the region.

The average sum insured per hectare has increased from Rs 15,100 during the pre-PMFBY schemes to Rs 40,700 under PMFBY.

As an end-to-end risk mitigation mechanism for farmers, 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.

Individual farm-level losses arising out of localised calamities and post-harvest losses are also covered due to perils such as inundation, cloudburst and natural fire.

Further, the ministry said some notable examples of these crop insurance covers are prevented sowing claims over Rs 500 crore in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka during the kharif 2019 dry spell, and localised calamity claims of over Rs 100 crore in Haryana during kharif 2018 hailstorm.

Claims to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore in Maharashtra during the kharif 2019 unseasonal rainfall and mid-season adversity claims of nearly Rs 30 crore in Rajasthan during rabi 2019-20 locust attack are also another examples.

Integration of land records with the PMFBY portal, crop insurance mobile app for easy enrolment of farmers and usage of technology such as satellite imagery, remote-sensing technology, drones, artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess crop losses are some of the key features of the scheme.

The scheme makes it easier for the farmer to report crop loss within 72 hours of occurrence of any event through the crop insurance app, common service centre or the nearest agriculture officer, it added.



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