Centre sets up two panels to lower crop insurance premium

The Centre has appointed two separate groups of experts to suggest suitable working models with cost benefit analysis that will lower crop insurance premium and technology in crop yield estimation under the flagship Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). This follows the exit of several States including Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar and West Bengal from the scheme, citing high premium.

A ten-member committee under scientist K R Manjunath of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will explore the feasibility of adoption of various technology-based approaches developed through pilot projects by ISRO and its arm National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) as well as Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC) of the Union Agriculture Ministry, the official said.

According to NRSC, satellite data at regular temporal interval enables monitoring of the natural resources for their effective management. However, the government has also been considering to utilise drones to capture yield data as satellite images are also considered not effective in case of fog or cloud.

The other sub-committee, headed by Saurabh Mishra, joint secretary in Ministry of Finance, will conduct cost benefit analysis of all “accepted models – agriculture insurance pool, cup and cap 80-110 per cent and co-insurance 20-80 per cent” as well as any profit-loss sharing model.

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