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Benefits of Insurance Schemes for Fishers Discussed by Abhilaksh Likhi and Other Experts

The gathering represents a significant step towards ensuring the sustainability and growth of India's aquaculture industry while providing essential support and insurance coverage for the farmers who contribute to this vital sector of the economy.

Shivam Dwivedi
Abhilaksh Likhi Emphasizes Collaborative Efforts to Bridge Gaps in Aquaculture Crop Insurance for Fishers (Photo Source: @FisheriesGoI)
Abhilaksh Likhi Emphasizes Collaborative Efforts to Bridge Gaps in Aquaculture Crop Insurance for Fishers (Photo Source: @FisheriesGoI)

The Department of Fisheries, under the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, organized a pivotal meeting on Wednesday to discuss the technical challenges involved in implementing the Aquaculture Crop Insurance scheme for shrimp and fish farming. This initiative is part of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) scheme, aimed at bolstering the nation's fisheries and aquaculture sector.

Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Secretary of the Department of Fisheries, chaired the meeting, which saw the participation of both Joint Secretaries of the Department of Fisheries, the Chief Executive of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), senior officials from leading insurance companies, representatives from the Department of Finance Services (DFS), experts from the Central Institute of Brackish Water Aquaculture (CIBA), and officials from various state and union territory governments.

The primary focus of this gathering was to identify and address the existing gaps in the Aquaculture Crop Insurance scheme. Dr. Likhi emphasized the need for a collective effort from all stakeholders to ensure that the benefits of the insurance scheme reach all eligible fishers. He underscored the importance of educating stakeholders on the concept of insurance and suggested conducting training sessions on Best Management Practices to implement the insurance scheme strategically.

Dr. L. Murthy, Chief Executive of the NFDB, provided insights into the ongoing pilot-scale insurance scheme for shrimp and freshwater fish in flood-prone areas, particularly in Andhra Pradesh and other regions across the country. This initiative is a crucial step towards mitigating risks for aquaculture farmers.

Neetu Prasad, Joint Secretary (Marine Fisheries), highlighted the significance of establishing a governing structure in alignment with the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to effectively manage the insurance scheme.

Sagar Mehra, Joint Secretary (Inland Fisheries), discussed a pilot project designed to offer Aquaculture Crop Insurance for both fish and shrimp crops under the PMMSY. He emphasized the adoption of Best Management Practices in shrimp farming and stressed the need to manage risks for marginalized farmers by providing insurance coverage for their crops. Additionally, he outlined the challenges faced by fishers when it comes to accessing insurance.

Throughout the meeting, representatives from insurance companies, DFS, state fisheries departments, CIBA, and NFDB actively participated, offering valuable insights and feedback for the successful implementation and saturation of the scheme.

As the meeting concluded, an open discussion was held, allowing agencies to seek clarifications on practical, on-ground issues. It was an opportunity to explore possible actions and develop new insurance products that would benefit the aquaculture sector.

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