Helping or  Harming Farmers  ???

       India : Farmers take agricultural insurance to safeguard their investments. There are many companies offering such services to farmers. Recently, it is revealed that these agricultural insurance not helping but cheating those poor farmers.

       Through the crop insurance programme adopted by the Indian government called Pradhanmantri Fasal Bima Yojana, private insurance companies has looted about 20,785 crores. ICICI Lombard, HDFC Ergo, Bajaj alliance, Reliance general, Future General, Cholamandala MS, Universal Sompo general are the companies. Every year the Indian government allots millions for this insurance programme.

       But the insurance programme intended to aid farmers and thereby encourage farming has actually benefitted these insurance companies.

       The advantage of Fasal Bima Yojana is 

that the farmers need to pay a very small amount as premium. That’s why it is considered as a highly beneficial programme for farmers.

       In 2016, an amount of 21,500 crores has collected from farmers as insurance premium. During this period an amount of 4,279 has passed as claim. But, the fact is that, only 714.56 crores has been distributed so far by the Insurance companies.

       Every year the money collected from farmers as premium has increased. Economist says it will witness a rapid growth in the coming years.

       According to the studies, there are around 118.6 million cultivators in the country. The government aims to cover at least 50% of farmers with its crop insurance scheme.  Under this scheme a farmer has to pay a uniform premium of 2% of the total

value for all Kharif crops, 1.5% of the value all Rabi crops and 5% on all commercial and horticultural crops. The balance amount towards the premium will be paid by the government. PMFBY is likely to cost the central government RS 8,800 crores. State governments also have to contribute an equal amount for this scheme.

       According to this project, the premium amount is collected during the agricultural period. If the claim amount is not distributed during this period, then it will become the profit of that private insurance company which holds the respective insurance policy.

       Government claims that farmers who take insurance policies protect their crops, livestock, farming and harvesting practices from setbacks. The major benefit it assures is that it aids  in fighting poverty. See, howcan it fight with poverty?

       In many countries the government of the day tries to help farmers produce more such that they are self-reliant in food productions. Do all these ‘farmer beneficial’ programmes actually reach the hands of Farmers? Or all these ends like what we seen in India? This has to be analyzed if we really need an agricultural friendly world.

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