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                                                  n  a  short  duration  discussion  in  the  Rajya  Sabha  on  farmers’  distress,  the
                                                  shortcomings  of  crop  insurance  in  mitigating  the  farmers’  hardships  came  in
                                               Ifor severe criticism from the opposition benches.  Complaints related mainly to
                                               inordinate delays in the settlement of claims.
                                                   Since the beginning, crop insurance schemes did not prove very popular with
                                               the farming community because of inbuilt lacunae in them. The droughts in 2014-5
                                               and  2015-16  further  exposed  their  weaknesses.  The  scheme  itself  has  undergone
                                               many modifications under different nomenclatures. Comprehensive Crop Insurance
                                               Scheme, then National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS), followed by Modified
                                               Agricultural  Insurance  Scheme  (MAIS),  in  addition  to  a  Weather  Based  Crop
                                               Insurance Scheme, and now we have the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana  (PMFBY),
                                               introduced as a flagship scheme by  Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PMFBI, which has
         Chief editor                          been in force since 2016 Kharif season, was expected to be a game changer, as it sought
         S. Jafar Naqvi                        to remove many shortcomings in the earlier schemes. The sums insured under the
                                               earlier schemes were too low, because the premiums were kept low, and consequently,
         Consulting editors
         T.V. Satyanarayanan                   the payment of claims was also meagre. What was worse, payments took too long,
                                               providing no help to farmers at the time of their distress. So the state governments
         Chief Co-ordinator                    resorted to use of the National Disaster Relief Funds to remedy the situation to some
         M.B. Naqvi
         editorial Co-ordinator                   Against this backdrop, when Prime Minister Modi announced the new scheme
         Syed M K
                                               with much fanfare, there were high expectations. The new scheme increased the sums
         layout & design                       insured to more realistic levels, basically to cover the cost of cultivation of farmers; the
         Faiyaz Ahmad                          premiums were heavily subsidized, both by the Centre and states in equal proportions.
         Mohd. Iqbal
                                               The farmers pay only 2 per cent of the premium for Kharif crops and 1.5 per cent for
                                               Rabi crops.
         Head Office
         new delhi: : +91-11-29535593 /           As the farmers found the scheme attractive, the number of those opting for the
         64519106 / 65655264                   scheme as well as the area under insurance cover increased considerably – the increase                 being 47 per cent in terms of number in the 2016 kharif and 38 per cent in terms of

         Other Business Offices                area.
                                                  However, the main problem that farmers face – delay in the settlement of claims
         Mumbai: 9702903993                    -- continues to persist. This complaint, voiced by members in parliament, is attributed
                                               to slovenly pace and “casual attitude” of several state agencies.
         Pune: 9881137397                         To  improve  matters,  one  of  the  suggestions  that  has  come  is  the  setting  of  a
                                               regulatory body, along the lines of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority,
         Chennai: 9941130277                   to monitor the working of firms offering agriculture insurance. With a strong body to
                                               oversee their working, many problems associated with agriculture insurance sector
         Admn. & Marketing Office              could be solved.
         MediA todAy PVt. ltd.                    A  senior  industry  official  says,  lack  of  proper  crop  cutting  experiment  (CCE)
         J-73, Paryavaran Complex, neb sarai,   data that are vital for assessing damage continues to be a nagging issue. There have
         ignou road, new delhi - 110068 (india)
         Phone : 91-11-29535593 /              been also complaints of “cooked up” figures. It is essential that CCE’s are done more
         64519106 / 65655264                   efficiently and honestly, and alongside, the number of CCE’s also need to be increased.
         E-mail:         As suggested in PMFBY guidelines, weather data can be used for validating CCEs.
         Web.:                     In fact, this should be made mandatory, with data sourced from automatic whether
         india : 1 year rs. 1000/-  by normal Post  Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has said some state governments have
                    rs. 1300/- by Courier      expressed their interest to create their own insurance firms to deal with crop insurance.
                    2 years rs. 1850/-  by normal Post  They include Haryana, Gujarat and Punjab.
                    rs. 2450/- by Courier
          overseas :  us$ 120 for 1 year / us$ 230 for 2 years   Haryana’s own insurance firm would be operational in the next one year, according
         single Copy  in india : rs. 100/-     to a news report quoting a state government department official. The main aim, the
         single Copy Cost for overseas : us$10
                   (Add 5% GST)                official said, is to ensure faster settlement of claims of farmers in the case of crop loss
                                               under PMFBY. State government officials feel by creating own entity, the state’s share
                                               of subsidy incurred while implementing the scheme would go the new entity and the
         Printed, published and owned by M.B. naqvi,
         Printed at everest Press, e-49/8, okhla industrial Area  settlement of claims would be faster.
         Ph-ii, new delhi - 110 020 and
         Published from e-11/47 A, new Colony,   Comments are welcome at:
         hauz rani, Malviya nagar, new delhi - 110017 (indiA)
                                               Views expressed by individuals and contributors in the magazine are their own and do not necessarily represent
         Editor : S. Jafar Naqvi               the views of  “AgriBusiness & Food industry” editorial board.  AgriBusiness & Food industry does not accept any
                                               responsibility of any direct, indirect or consequential damage caused to any party due to views expressed by
         Vol 14....... issue 9 ...... september, 2017  any one or more persons in the trade. All disputes are to be referred to delhi Jurisdiction only.       .....editor

        8      September 2017     AgriBusiness & Food  i ndustr yAgriBusiness & Food  i ndustr y
               September 2017
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