The Centre on Thursday launched a portal ‘SARATHI’ that aims to help insurance companies reach out to farmers and rural population with tailored products as well as the government’s subsidised insurance products including Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).

Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda also launched a helpline number 14447 to enable farmers to lodge their concerns to strengthen grievance redressal mechanism under PMFBY.

Sharing details about portal SARATHI (Sandbox for Agriculture, Rural Security, Technology and Insurance), PMFBY’s CEO Ritesh Chauhan said that it will offer a digitizsed insurance journey, simplifying the process for farmers. The portal will be a single-window platform for viewing, purchasing, and availing insurance products, he said.

The platform will have digital payment options and streamlined premium collection, effortless claim initiation, tracking and resolution besides user-friendly interfaces for stakeholders, he said and added that a spectrum of insurance products will be introduced on the portal in a phased manner.

In the first phase, personal accident and hospital cash policies, while in the second phase health, shop and home insurance and in the third phase tractor, two-wheeler, livestock and non-PMFBY insurance products, Chauhan said. He also said that the government will be able to monitor the response of farmers to such non-subsidised products and in case of a requirement may intervene with suitable scheme for the overall welfare of the farming community.

A learning material system about PMFBY, Modified Interest Subvention Scheme (MIIS) and Kisan Credit Card (KCC) was also launched.

The ‘Krishi Rakshak Portal and Helpline’, will operate as a facilitator, bridging gap between insured farmer on one hand and insurance companies, bankers, Common Service Centres (CSCs) and State governments on the other. Chauhan said farmers can register their complain either on portal or through helpline and the same will be forwarded to insurance companies for redressal. The Centre’s role will be like a mediator to ensure the farmers’ grievances are resolved.

Munda said, “Our ministry is working together to turn India into a Viksit Bharat (developed nation). We are moving ahead with times adopting digital technology. The initiatives will surely benefit the farmers.”