UP farmers say no to Centre’s insurance schemes
The department is trying to keep these findings under wraps because of the forthcoming assembly elections in which the issue of farmers’ welfare is at the center stage of political parties’ campaigns
The Uttar Pradesh farmers have given a big thumbs down to the much-hyped two central government’s crop insurance schemes – Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) as less than 10 per cent of farmers in this state have opted for it.
“Only 21 lakh out of 2.50 crore farmers in Uttar Pradesh have opted for crop insurance because the message has failed to percolate down to the village level,” a senior official in the agriculture department told this reporter.
At the national level, more than 5 crores out of 14 crore farmers are covered under the crop insurance scheme.
The department is trying to keep these findings under wraps because of the forthcoming assembly elections in which the issue of farmers’ welfare is at the center stage of political parties’ campaigns.
“Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of farmers in the country but its share in crop insurance is low because the government has failed to rationalize the premium which the farmer is supposed to pay. This is a bit on the higher side,” the official said.
Under the PMFBY and REBCIS, farmers need to pay a premium of 2 per cent of the total sum insured for all food grains and oilseeds for Kharif, while it is 1.5 per cent to the total food grain and oilseeds insured for Rabi and 5 per cent for the horticultural crops.
The decline in UP’s share in farmers’ insurance schemes is gradual. In 2016-17, 72.89 lakh farmers were insured and the number dropped to 54.21 lakh in 2017-18. Though in 2018-19 the national insurance figure increased, in UP the number further went down to 46.95 lakh and in 2019-20 the number now stands at 21 lakh.
A senior official in Agriculture Department Devesh Chaturvedi said that it is true that crop insurance coverage in Uttar Pradesh is low. "We are analysing the reasons and are trying to bring more and more farmers under the insurance net,” he said.