Marathwada, which is notorious for farmer suicides had pinned hopes on the new crop insurance scheme – Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana (PMFBY) to save its farmers. But it has been a complete disappointment. Farmers of the region are in despair for they have not yet received the settlement for the crops lost in 2017, despite having paid the premium.
The Kharif season in 2017 in Parbhani district of Marathwada was covered by Reliance General. Farmers had lost their crop because of monsoon failure in that season.
A farmer activist, Maulik Kadam, District President of Shetkari Sanghatana told that a total of 2,79,000 farmers in the Parbhani district paid Rs.19.27 crore as premium for soybean in the kharif 2017 to Reliance General.
It was only after farmers of the district joined hands and took the problem to the District Agriculture Department and the Collector in May 2018 and went on a hunger strike that Reliance General settled the claims of soybean farmers in Sonpeth, Palam, Sailu and Purna taluks. However, till today, farmers from two large taluks – Parbhani and Jinthur, have not received even partial settlement of their dues.
There are many gaps in the framework of PMFBY which is being exploited by insurance companies. The government needs to plug these for ensuring effective implementation of the scheme. The role of the Revenue Department in CCEs is important and there should be a mechanism to check that it carries out its role satisfactorily.