High costs of reinsurance due to erratic weather, a spike in claims, political interference in crop loss estimation are reasons that forced some insurers to leave the business
Pipalrawan: Amid ongoing pandemic when rural incomes are sliding, the only existing safety net for the farmers is also giving way.
Failing to get crop insurance amount, scores of farmers around Pipalrawan village of Dewas district now had no option but to set their crop ablaze.
Lokendra, son of Dariyav Singh, a resident of Kumhariya Banveer village near Pipalrawan village. Lokendra first brush with insurance left a bitter aftertaste.
A farmer’s son, 26-year-old Lokendra owns a five bigha agriculture land. He felt betrayed when hundreds of farmers from his village were denied what was due to them.
Like me, many of the farmers in the area sown soybean, but recent heavy rain and pest attack spoiled our hard work, he said. Failing to get good harvest that could be enough to compensate our investment, we were solely depended on the crop insurance claim, but we were betrayed once again, he added.
“Now farmers in the area either have to graze their crop to the cattle or burn the crop, so that that could ready their field for rabi crop,” Lokendra added.
He said he had spent on fertilizers, medicine and labour. The total investment is around Rs 1 lakh. Failing to get ample harvest, now they have to spend more money on thresher machine which cost around Rs 1200 per hour, which is waste of money.
Not only soybean, but onion harvesters in the area face huge loss due to low price amid ongoing pandemic.
On the other hand, government has engaged agriculture officials to conduct survey- which is underway at a snail pace and that leads to either delay in insurance claim or the report which are they are submitting is inappropriate, allege farmers.
Many of the farmers complained that the claims have been incorrectly calculated, payouts have been unfairly low, and mandated procedures have been violated.
Farmers alleged that payment of insurance claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2016, has been meagre or entirely non-existent, and that the scheme’s real beneficiaries have been insurance companies.
Overall, the picture that emerged is that the farmers woes have increased due to a poorly implemented scheme whose basic infrastructure and procedures have still not been established.