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Indian Journal of Agricultural Marketing
Year : 2018, Volume : 32, Issue : 3s
First page : ( 49) Last page : ( 57)
Print ISSN : 0971-8664. Online ISSN : 2456-8716.

Crop insurance in India: making it work for farmers

Nirmal Rajalakshmi

The Hindu Business line, Chennai

Online published on 15 May, 2019.

Abstract

This paper investigates the causes of India's poor performance in different crop insurance schemes. It specifically delves into key reasons for failure of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), an improved version of the earlier crop insurance scheme-mNAIS (modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme). The paper finds how Karnataka's ‘Samrakshane’ platform, an e-governance portal, has solved some problems in implementation of the crop insurance scheme and draws takeaways from it for other states to follow. I argue that to offer adequate and timely support to farmers against crop loss, it is necessary that the states use technology solutions. Though the Centre assures financial grant for any technology that will be used for the scheme, not many states have taken the initiative. Unless, states put in place the framework for an online platform and make compulsory the use of smart phones in crop cutting experiments (CCE) and bring in transparency in the process, it is hard to make the scheme appealing to a larger section of farmers. While it may be difficult for other states to replicate what Karnataka, is doing entirely, they can at least equip their primary agriculture officers with a smart phone for crop cutting experiments. This can reduce the time taken for collecting yield data and ensure faster claim settlement. However, if one measures success by the number of farmers (especially the non-loanee peasants) covered under the insurance scheme, even Karnataka can't boast of having achieved much. The paper also identifies the challenges before Karnataka in reaching out to non-loanee farmers and suggests ways to improve reach.

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Keywords

Crop insurance, PMFBY, NAIS, mNAIS, Agricultural risk management, Samrakshane.

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