The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), introduced in the country during the Kharif 2016 season, has been a subject of contention in Maharashtra. While farmers’ organisations in the State have criticised the scheme, alleging it has failed to assist farmers, the Union government has declared Maharashtra as one of the “major” successful States in implementing the scheme.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture’s statement to the Rajya Sabha this month, Maharashtra has seen the enrolment of 846.52 lakh farmer applications under the PMFBY since its inception. The scheme offers comprehensive risk coverage against all non-preventable natural risks from pre-sowing to post-harvest stages of crops at a minimal premium for farmers.

“Maharashtra State is one of the major successful States implementing the scheme since its inception. Since inception of the scheme, 846.52 lakh farmer applications have been enrolled in Maharashtra under the scheme. From 2016-17 to 2022-23, against premium of ₹5,176.70 crore paid by farmers, claims of ₹27,989.75 crore have been paid to about 407.99 lakh farmer applications in Maharashtra” the Ministry of Agriculture told Rajya Sabha this month.

State warns of action

Despite this, farmers’ protests in the State have highlighted issues such as insurance companies allegedly not responding to farmers and rejecting legitimate claims. In response, the State government has warned of strict actions against such companies.

The PMFBY covers all food crops, oilseeds, and commercial/horticultural crops, subject to the availability of past yield data and the State government’s capacity to conduct Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) to assess crop yield for claims calculation. States can also notify specific crops for coverage under the Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) for crops that do not meet the conditions for PMFBY coverage.