Agriculture Insurance’s Outreach Constrained by Procedural Delays and Norms: Reflections from North Karnataka, India

Nayanatara S. Nayak(Centre for Multi-Disciplinary Development Research (CMDR), Y.S. Colony Dharwad, Karnataka, India)
Narayan Billava(CMDR, Dharwad, Karnataka, India)
Ashalata K.V.(Department of Statistics, University of Agricultural Science (UAS), Dharwad, Karnataka, India)

Abstract


Karnataka is one of the states, which experienced severe drought continuously for four years since 2014. In addition, heavy rainfall for the past two years has adversely affected agriculture produce in the entire state putting farmers into debt trap as most of them are not covered by crop insurance for crop failure. Although crop insurance was available to farmers in India since 1972, the coverage across the states including Karnataka was not found to be satisfactory. The average percentage of farmers covered under crop insurance was less than 10% during 1999-2015,both for India and Karnataka. It was 11.3% under NAIS 2015 kharif,increased to 12.2% in 2016, 17.1% in 2017 going down to 15.6% in 2018 and to 14.1% in 2019 under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)kharif in Karnataka. PMFBY was one new kind of agriculture insurance company and introduced throughout the country in 2016.This paper examines the performance of this scheme with specific reference to north Karnataka based on primary data collected from farmers’ survey in four districts, secondary data collected from official documents and first-handinformation gathered from regional stakeholder workshops organized in six selected districts of north Karnataka. The study tries to look into the extent of coverage and, flaws and merits of crop insurance schemes with reference to problems faced by farmers in getting insurance coverage and claims. The study covered around 1000 stakeholders including farmers,officials of banks, department of economics and statistics, agriculture department and insurance agencies, representatives of gram panchayats and cooperative societies. Three agricultural crop seasons have passed since then. Central government has brought in some changes in guidelines and is likely to make further changes in procedures in response to concerns expressed by States and farmers’ representatives. Follow up discussions with key stakeholders in Karnataka held after the initial farmers’ survey reveal that while a few of the anomalies in applying for crop insurance have been addressed by the concerned departments, major obstacles in assessment and claims continue to exasperate farmers who are miffed bythese procedural lapses. This paper throws light on some of these issues and discusses measures to make crop insurance, particularly PMFBY farmers’ friendly.

Keywords


Crop insurance,Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana,Agriculture Insurance,Farmers,Claims

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.36956/rwae.v1i1.242

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