In a major farmer outreach, the government on Thursday launched a special drive to enrol more cultivators under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). A week-long drive, starting July 1, will cover all notified areas under the kharif 2021 season with special focus on 75 aspirational districts where crop insurance penetration is low. PMFBY, launched on January 13, 2016, aims to provide a comprehensive risk solution to farmers at the lowest uniform premium across the country.
Launching the special drive, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said so far 29.16 crore farmers have insured their crops under the PMFBY. More than Rs 95,000 crore worth of claims have been provided to farmers since the launch of the scheme, against the total premium of Rs 17,000 crore paid by them, he said. However, there is a need to expand the scheme in the country so that the crop insurance coverage can be increased and more farmers get benefits, an official statement quoted the minister as saying. Tomar also urged state governments and other stakeholders such as banks and insurance companies to work together and reach out to the farmers in these identified 75 aspirational districts.
He also urged the farmers to come forward and enjoy the benefits of crop insurance and become self-sufficient in times of crisis. The minister flagged off Information Education Communication (IEC) mobile vans to engage with farmers on PMFBY during the week-long drive. He also launched a PMFBY e-brochure, FAO booklet and a guidebook to assist farmers and on ground coordinators to understand the scheme, its benefits and the process of crop insurance. From getting enrolled under the scheme to ways to claim crop insurance under various circumstances to grievance redressal and reporting crop loss — all will be explained to farmers through on-ground and digital initiatives.
The campaign will also bring out stories of beneficiary farmers who have not only benefited from the scheme but helped the entire farming community through their thought-leadership. Along with the farmers in tribal areas and aspirational districts, the campaign will engage women farmers as well. The virtual event was attended by Ministers of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal and other senior officers of the ministry.