The official stated that there has been ‘leakages’ in the conduct of crop cutting experiments (CCEs) which is the sole base for estimating crop yield.
In a bid to curb delays in settlement of claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), the government on Tuesday asked states to release their share of subsidy along with the Centre so that farmers’ claim could be settled in a time-bound manner. “Number of states have withheld releasing their share of subsidy under PMFBY. Henceforth, we many not release our share (of subsidy) till states release their share correspondingly,” an agriculture ministry official said at the PMFBY review meeting. The official stated that there has been ‘leakages’ in the conduct of crop cutting experiments (CCEs) which is the sole base for estimating crop yield. “It can’t be business as usual as far as CCEs go, the states need to revamp their system of CCEs using modern technologies so that anomalies could be addressed,” the official told the representatives of the states. Sources said because of lacunae in CCEs lead to delay in submission of yield data which also results in dispute in yield data by insurance companies. Under PMFBY, farmers need to pay a uniform premium of just 2% for the more rain-dependent kharif crops and 1.5% for all rabi crops.
The premium for annual commercial and horticultural crops will be capped at 5%. The remaining share of the premium will be borne equally by the Centre and the respective state. According to a ministry note, CCEs from the Kharif season 2017 should be captured on smartphone or agri app for transmission of yield data on real-time basis to national crop insurance portal for quicker settlement of farmers’ claims. “This data must thereafter be validated by the concerned state nodal authority within a week,” according to the note. It stated that for states to be eligible for the central share of premium subsidy in kharif 2017-18, “it is required to be ensured that 100% of CCEs are essentially captured on smartphone”. Teleangana has used satellite data for removal of area discrepancy under crop insurance, while Gujarat has used drones and satellites for yield data analysis.
Maharashtra and Odisha have satellite data for classification of risk or cluster. The agriculture ministry has also asked states to use technologies like remote-sensing, satellite data, drones to deal with reports of ‘discrepancies’. According to official data, out of total claims of Rs 15,200 crore (including both kharif 2016 and rabi seasons 2016-17) made by the farmers, Rs 10,739 crore have been approved and Rs 8,038 crore have been paid to around 93 lakh farmers. Around 404 lakh farmers (390 lakh hectare insured) and 157 lakh farmrs (175 lakh hectare insured) took up crop insurance under PMFBY and Restructured Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme.