Sunday, October 1, 2023

PMFBY : Enrolment in current Kharif goes upto 23.50 lakh – N.F Times

Bhubaneswar: The enrolment under the PMFBY scheme has gone from about 10 /11 lakhs in the previous years to 23.50 lakhs in current Kharif. The Crop Insurance Scheme- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is in operation in the State since 2016 Kharif. The Scheme is being implemented through Insurance Companies (ICs) selected once in every three years on the basis of competitive bidding on the rate of premium being quoted by them. 

Under the Scheme, the farmer has to pay premium for getting enrolled is fixed and the excess of premium over and above the farmers’ premium is subsidised. This subsidy is being shared by the Central Government and Government of Odisha on 50:50 ratio.

For Kharif season, the farmers’ share of premium for food grain crops (Cereals, Pulses and oil seeds) is fixed at 2% of the sum insured (SI) and for other commercial crops it is fixed at 5% of SI. For Rabi season, the farmers’ share of premium for food grain crops is fixed at 1.5% of SI and for other commercial crops it is fixed at 5% of SI.

All kinds of risks having the potential to hamper crop production are covered under the scheme at three different stages of crop growth. Prevented sowing due to adverse weather conditions, mid-season adversities and end of season production loss are compensated under the scheme.

One of the major draw backs of the scheme however, is the low coverage of framers. In Odisha out of the 50 lakh agricultural households only about 10 lakh farmers usually being enrolled under the scheme and the area coverage has also not been encouraging. Out of the total of about 45 lakh hectares of cultivated land only about 10 lakh hectares of crop-land were being insured.

From this 2023 Kharif season however, Cooperation Department, Government of Odisha under the direction of Chief Minister, Sri Naveen Pattnaik , Minister Cooperation Atanu sabyasachi Nayak & team Cooperation took a transformative decision to bear the farmers’ share of premium up to 2 hectares making enrolment under the scheme free. The rationale behind this decision is, the small and marginal farmers who form a considerable percentage of the total farming community were not being able to bear the burden of premium in order to insure their crops. And these farmers are the most vulnerable ones to sustain any kind of crop loss due to vagaries of weather leading to distress. By enrolling them free of cost the State Government targeted to protect the lives and livelihoods of the weakest section of the farming community.

Further, though the last date of enrolment under the scheme was 31st July, Government of Odisha insisted and ensured extension of the cut-off date by another 5 days in the interest of the farmers as farming activities had been delayed this year due to delay in onset of monsoon.

These pro-farmer decisions especially the transformative initiative of making crop insurance free for small and marginal farmers has shown substantial increase in enrolment of farmers in the State. The farmers of the State have accepted this initiative of the Government of Odisha and participated in the scheme enthusiastically.

The enrolment under the scheme has gone from about 10 /11 lakhs in the previous years to 23.50 lakhs in current Kharif. More importantly about 22 lakh of Small and marginal farmers have enrolled themselves under the scheme and got their crops insured against any kind of weather/nature related production risks. Women farmers of the State have also shown enormous interest in the scheme and participated in growing numbers. About 4 lakh women farmers have enrolled their crops under the Crop Insurance Scheme. As the final enrolment figures have come, the State Government will have to spend about Rs 850 Crores from its own resources in order to bear the total premium subsidy.

With growing awareness in the coming years these figures are only going to grow further and protect the lives and livelihoods of the farmers especially, small and marginal farmers according to Minister Nayak.

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