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Crop Insurance Scheme to Maximize Income and Minimize Agricultural Losses

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Sometime back, the dignitaries working under the Narendra Modi government’s flagship crop insurance program- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana (PMFBY) were amazed to observe an unexpected shift in the insurance payouts. Why? Out of 600 districts in India, 50 districts accounted for half the total claims generated across the country for year after year. The officials are showing interest in addressing this issue because huge payouts led district-wise have resulted in an increase in government’s insurance premiums annually. As the union government’s budget provision for insurance payouts is touching Rs. 28,000 crores, it is not something that could be ignored. Looking at this huge budget allocation, the question that arises in one’s mind is: Are the farmers growing wrong crops in these regions? Should they start diversifying crops? Or Exclude these crops from the insurance schemes? Amidst all these, agriculture technology comes as a savior for the government officials to not only increase farmers’ income but also cut unnecessary expenses. One good example where technology is enhancing the way claims decisions are made is, replacing traditional CCE (Crop Cutting Experiments) method with a technology-based solution. The traditional CCE method that is used to assess crop yield for a village or district is error-prone and government agencies are moving towards a technology-based assessment model to calculate estimated yield using the combination of weather analytics, CCE and satellite imagery. “Considerable work has been carried out to change the present insurance landscape for agriculture. In the next three years, we will migrate to a complete technology-based assessment model for wheat, paddy and other crops by 2021. There will be a paradigm shift in the way crop insurance is handled. The time taken to calculate yield estimates and insurance claims will dramatically reduce,” said Ashish Bhutani, CEO of PMFBY. That’s not the end of all. The government is planning to link the insurance schemes with the land records that are currently used to digitize various states. The agriculture ministry hopes to have the whole database of the country’s land records ready by the end of October 2020. With that happening, the insurance schemes will be linked to the individuals Aadhar cards Reference Links: https://www.businesstoday.in/magazine/special-reports/agritech/maximising-income/story/376794.html
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