Crop insurance is an issue that has gained attention to almost all governments given the fact that lakhs of farmers are exposed to vulnerability of Monsoons and incidents of climate change. In the light of the above discussion the NDA government has come out with new crop insurance scheme promising to address all the issues associated with it.
Basic highlights of new crop insurance scheme
- It is hugely subsidised covering almost all types of farmers including tenant farmers.
- The premium rates are uniform throughout country and are bought down to very affordable prices ie-from 25 to 5 % for horticulture crops and from 15 %to 1.5 %,2 % for Rabi and Kharif crops respectively.
- It aims to cover insurance coverage target up to 50% from present 23%.
Some important issues regarding the scheme
- Again like any other scheme Implementation is the Key. In this there is no proper specific guidelines on how the scheme will be implemented at farm level.
- Agriculture is a state subject ,the new Scheme is central, there is apprehension in policy circles that states are not taken on board completely while framing the scheme.
- The point of making technological assessment of crops as mandatory is ambiguous as 83% of the farmers are marginal and poor who cannot afford for technological gadgets like smart phones etc
- The entry of private players in to the Agriculture insurance domain is again disputed give the fact of credible and sensible functioning of private insurance companies. Governemnt should ensure that private insurance companies needs to have a proper system at place which is functioning very transparently.
- There is a significant level of ignorance that is persisting with the farmers regarding the availability of crop insurance. So lot of Insurance awareness campaigns needs to be conducted to create more awareness and to get more farmers on board.
- The scheme is not panacea because it covers only whether risks and not price risks.
- Patwaris are loaded with responsibility. And there is a huge discretionary element that is existing with Patwaris. There should be detailed guidelines on defining the functions of Patwaris or revenue officers so that they function efficiently.
- Patwaris who make crop assessment at district and block level needs contemporary training to get in touch with new methods of technological assessments
Mains question: Paper 3
Q.1)”In recent times Farmers are exposed to vulnerability due to incidents of climate change leading to crop losses and farm suicides” In the above context critically analyse the new crop insurance scheme that was launched recently.