NEW DELHI: Unseasonal rain and hailstorms this year have affected crops in several states. Perhaps the worst affected were the wheat growers who faced the vagary of nature close to reaping. However, farmers in states that have opted to be part of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) may look forward to some compensation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed happiness over the impact of the scheme. In a tweet, he said what can be of greater happiness than the smile that PMFBY has spread on the faces of our farmer brothers and sisters.
He was reacting to tweets from Rajya Sabha MP, Ram Chander Jangra, who mentioned the advantages of the initiative.
PMFBY was launched with an aim to address problems of high premium rates for farmers and reduction in the sum-insured due to capping. Incidentally, losses due to localised risks of hailstorm, landslide, inundation, cloud burst and natural fire and post-harvest losses due to cyclone, cyclonic or unseasonal rains and hailstorms are calculated on individual insured farm basis.
Though the concept of crop insurance was there, it was not as much in practice till some time back. PMFBY was introduced from Kharif (crops grown in rainy season, i.e., June to September) season 2016. The scheme is voluntary where states are free to subscribe under the scheme keeping in view their risk perception and financial considerations.
In a media release late last year, the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare reiterated that PMFBY is on way to become the world’s largest crop insurance scheme. Around five crore farmer applications are being received under the scheme every year, it said, adding that farmers received Rs. 1,25,662 crore so far against the premium of Rs 25,186 crore paid in the last 6 years.