Following the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) a year ago, the number of farmers opting for crop insurance in the kharif season 2016 has increased by over 22% compared to 2015.
According to the agriculture ministry data, over 3.77 crore farmers have enrolled in PMFBY in Kharif 2016 against 3.09 crore farmers who had opted for crop insurance in kharif 2015. Out of the farmers enrolled under PMFBY, around 27% (1.04 crore) of the farmers did not avail agricultural credit earlier while rest of the farmers had availed agricultural credit. An agriculture ministry official told FE that the focus of PMFBY has been to encourage more and more non-loanee farmers to take up crop insurance so that risk involved in the agricultural sector could be dealt with.
Source said the allocation for PMFBY in FY18 is expected to increase sharply compared to provision of Rs 5,501 crore in FY17 budget estimate. However, finance minister Arun Jaitley has already sanctioned R13,240 crore as per the revised estimate for the flagship crop insurance scheme in the current fiscal.
According to an agriculture ministry note, the performance in kharif season was better despite the fact that there were teething issues to begin with. “For instance, many states did the bidding process for selection of the insurance companies for concerned clusters for the first time and consequently, the notification of the scheme was delayed in a number of states,” the note had stated.
While around 1.67 crore farmers had taken crop insurance in the rabi season of 2015-16, the agriculture ministry hopes that more farmers will enroll under PMFBY in the ongoing rabi season.