Minister of State for Agriculture Mr. Mohanbhai Kundariya on Tuesday emphasized the need to spread information of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to all the farmers of the country for which he invites all the stakeholders such as PHD Chamber and private insurance players to organize kisan melas in all the villages of the country so that farmers may avail the scheme of the government in better ways.
Inaugurating the 2nd National Seminar on Agri Insurance: Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today, the Minister said that the information of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana should spread by organizing kisan melas in all small villages of the country so that the farmers may get maximum benefits of the scheme of the government.
He underlined that not only non-loanee farmers have been covered under the scheme but also the scheme is focusing on introducing cap on the premium and added that the full benefit of the sum assured would be utilized with the major aim of maximizing the coverage under the scheme. He stated that before framing the scheme Prime Minister of India wanted that the scheme must not only exist on paper but must be implemented effectively with this objective the scheme has been framed and the farmers’ welfare has been targeted at wider arena.
According to the Minister, to make the agriculture insurance attractive among the farmers, there is a need to educate farmers by organizing such events for which the government has been initiating such steps and organizing awareness campaign across the country.
Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Ashish Kumar Bhutani in his address mentioned that the government of India is slowly moving towards farm level assessment of losses and local calamities such as unseasonal rains etc. and also underlined that the scheme can be a game changer. He also asserted that further scope for making the policy more flexible including experts from various states of the country.
In his welcome remarks, President, PHD Chamber, Dr. Mahesh Gupta said that agriculture insurance penetration amongst India’s farming community is abysmal. Out of the gross cropped area of 195.26 million hectares in the country, only 42.82 million hectares or 22 per cent was covered under crop insurance in 2014. While the coverage was higher in some states — especially Rajasthan and also Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar and Karnataka — it was hardly a tenth or less for the likes of Gujarat, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) will come into force from the Kharif season starting in June this year. The scheme covers kharif, rabi crops as well as annual commercial and horticultural crops. For Kharif crops, the premium charged would be up to 2% of the sum insured. For Rabi crops, the premium would be up to 1.5% of the sum assured. For annual commercial and horticultural crops, premium would be 5 per cent.
Earlier only those farmers who have taken loans for their cultivation, were eligible for insurance of their crops. However as per the new scheme, all farmers are eligible for the new crop insurance scheme irrespective of the condition of taking loan or not. The insurance plan will be handled under a single insurance company, AIC and entire insurance process; right from joining of farmers to disbursement of claim is to be made electronically to make it a fraud free and effective scheme.
Subjects experts from the sector of weather and risk management, insurance companies etc. added more inputs and floor participation from farmers, brokers in insurance and the academia added their pertinent inputs. The Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Ashish Kumar Bhutani elaborated and addressed all queries raised.
The Seminar was a major eye opener for the farming fraternity of the country. PHD Chamber has been encouraged to take this broad based dissemination and facilitation endeavor towards across other state of India.
Among other who participated in the Seminar comprised Chairman & Co-Chairman, Insurance Committee, PHD Chamber, Mr. Yogesh Lohiya and Mr. S K Sethi and its senior member of the Chamber Mr. Sunil Goyal.