Only 29 Percent Farmers Aware of details of PMFBY

Farmers are still unaware of the details of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana (PMFBY) even as the government and insurers are trying to increasing the penetration in the non-loanee segment, said a climate risk management firm WRMS.

However, in many states, high satisfaction has been seen among the enrolled farmers and reasons for the same were proper impleme­n­tation in terms of assista­nce to farmers and involvement of insurance company and high percentage of insured farmers receiving payout, it said.

The PMFBY, launched in 2016, is the most important tool today to insure agriculture against climate and other risks. The scheme, which is an improvement over the previous agriculture insurance schemes, not only provides subsidized insurance to the loanee farmers but also avails it to the non-loanee farmers.

“In a recent survey done in 8 states (UP, Gujarat, Od­isha, AP, Chhattisgarh, Nag­aland, Bihar and Maharashtra) by BASIX, it was found only 28.7 percent of the sampled farmers are aware about the PMFBY,” the Weather Risk Management Services (WRMS) said.

As per the survey findings, farmers complain that the process for enrolment as non-loanee farmers is difficult. They have to obtain so­w­ing certificates, land rec­ords from the local revenue department, which is time consuming.

Further, the bank bra­nc­h­es and customer service centres are not always available for enrolment as they are pre-occupied with other works. “Farmers are not told why they have received or not received claims and what is the basis for the claim calculations,” it noted.

According to the survey, 40.8 percent gathered information from formal sour­ces like agriculture department, specific channels creating awareness informed in­s­urance firms or customer service centres and rest.

From those who were aw­are of the scheme only 12.9 percent could get their crop insured of which 77 percent were linked to loan. “"41.3 percent of the farmers cited lack of necessary docume­nts as the major challenge to get insurance and the other challenges were small land holdings (21.4 percent), lack of assistance from gove­r­nment officials (26 percent) and inefficiency of online systems (17.3 perce­nt),” the WRMS said about the findings of the survey.

There is a high willingne­ss to take insurance among the farmers who could not get themselves insured due to one of the above cited reasons, it added.

“One of the main reasons of improper implementation of PMFBY in several regions is lack of trained resources. There is a lack of awareness at every stage of implementation,” WRMS Managing Director Sonu Agrawal said.

Emphasizing the need to enhance awareness among no­n-loanee farmers, the WRMS suggested that simple platforms need to be built to help farmers apply for the scheme and at the same time get details on the risks covered in the scheme and how they can inform about their localized losses.

There is a need for a transparent platform wherein application, survey request and payout status can be timely checked and grievances of farmers and insurance companies can be redressed via a grievance redressal mechanism which can be set by government in advance, it added.

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