Panaji: In an effort to provide comprehensive crop insurance coverage to farmers in the state, the agriculture department has invited bids from insurance companies empanelled with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, for the implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in the state.
The scheme will be effective for a period of three years, starting from the Kharif season of 2023 and continuing until the rabi season of 2025-26.
Under the PMFBY, the coverage will extend to various food crops including paddy, pulses, groundnut, and sugarcane. It is estimated that around 800 farmers will benefit from the scheme, with approximately 140 hectares of farmland receiving crop insurance cover. The aim of PMFBY is to support agricultural production by offering affordable crop insurance products that ensure comprehensive risk coverage for farmers against non-preventable natural calamities from pre-sowing to post-harvest stages.
The scheme operates on the basis of an “area approach” which designates defined areas for each notified crop to address widespread calamities effectively. The unit of insurance is a “Cluster of village panchayats in talukas,” with each cluster consisting of a maximum of 15 village panchayats. In Goa, a total of 19 clusters have been identified, with 10 clusters in North Goa and 9 clusters in South Goa.
Interested insurance companies must submit district-wise and crop-wise actuarial premium rates through the state government’s e-procurement portal (http://eprocure.goa.gov.in) for all the districts included in the cluster. The bidding process will conclude on June 15.
The premium rates quoted by the insurance companies will be compared with the predetermined rates. If the quoted rates are higher, the difference will be subsidised, with the state and the government of India sharing the cost equally at 50% each. For rabi crops, farmers are required to pay a fixed premium of 1.5% of the sum insured, while for kharif crops, it is 2%. Cash crops, on the other hand, have a premium rate of 5%.
It is important to note that coverage is available for a maximum period of two weeks from harvesting for crops that need to be dried in cut and spread or small bundled condition in the field. This coverage is specifically for perils such as hailstorm, cyclone, cyclonic rains, and unseasonal rains.
This initiative is expected to enhance agricultural productivity and safeguard the livelihoods of farmers in the state.