Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are among those who have opted for the government’s flagship crop insurance scheme — Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) being implemented from this kharif season (2016-17).
According to preliminary data from the agriculture ministry, of the 2.53 crore farmers enrolled so far in PMFBY and WBCIS in the ongoing kharif season, most of the farmers belong to these nine states.
Sources told FE the exact number of farmers who have opted for two schemes would be available soon. The government had extended the last date for the farmers to opt for the revamped crop insurance scheme from August 1 to 30.
Approximately, two crore farmers of an estimated 14 crore across the country — earning for a population four-five times as many — had the benefit of a crop insurance cover in 2014-15 and 2015 – 16.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched PMFBY which stipulates a uniform premium of 2% to be paid by farmers for kharif crops, and 1.5% for rabi crops. The premium for annual commercial and horticultural crops was being capped at 5% of sum ensured. The premium rate was brought down from a range of 3.5-8% of the sum insured in the prevailing schemes.
According to official data, more than 53 lakh and 31 lakh farmers have opted for the two crop insurance schemes in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh respectively. Farmers in Madhya Pradesh (30 lakh) Rajasthan (20 lakh), Andhra Pradesh (20 lakh), Odisha (17 lakh), Uttar Pradesh (14), Gujarat (11 lakh) and Bihar (10 lakh) so far have enrolled under the crop insurance schemes.
However, states such as Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and North-Eastern states have been laggards in the implementation of the mega crop insurance scheme. Out of 24 states and one Union Territory which initially agreed to implement PMFBY, only 22 states issues notification assigning various insurance companies for implementation of crop insurance after competitive bidding.