Demand to bring PMFBY under state govt; farmers say state govts understand their problems better
Farmer leaders say that crop insurance should be kept under the state government. They feel that the state governments understand local problems better than the central government does. Besides, at present farmers growing maize, banana or certain other crops are not covered under this scheme.
Amidst the row between the central government and several states over the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), farmers from Tamil Nadu have said that the crop insurance scheme should be brought under the state government. The reason: Farmers say that local issues are not considered at present while giving compensation. The last date for getting the Kharif paddy crop insured in the state is July 31.
Currently, crops are insured under PMFBY. It is an umbrella scheme that is implemented through the states. Farmers say that local issues are not considered under the present arrangement. As per the prevailing rules, farmers of a village can get compensation only when the paddy crop in the entire village falls prey to a natural disaster or an insect attack. For other crops, too, the insurance provision applies only when the crop gets affected in a large area. Hence farmer leaders say that crop insurance should be kept under the state government. They feel that the state governments understand local problems better than the central government does. Besides, at present farmers growing maize, banana or certain other crops are not covered under this scheme.
Several states had opted out of PMFBY as it came under a cloud of disputes. However, several states have re-joined the scheme. The Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments, too, decided to come under the scheme recently. The Telangana farmers demanded that farmers be given universal coverage under this scheme. It is believed that the Telangana government agreed to come under the scheme only when the Centre acceded to this demand. However, the scheme will be implemented in Telangana only from the 2023 Rabi season. Earlier, the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Gujarat had opted out of it, citing higher premiums.
There are also complaints regarding payments made under this scheme. For example, in 2021, farmers in Odisha suffered losses due to a natural disaster during the Kharif season. The number of these farmers is about 14.27 lakh. Despite the fact that it is time for the new Kharif crops now, the farmers from the state are yet to get the compensation for last year.