It is estimated that 30-40 percent of crops are destroyed annually due to attacks by wild animals in India
Farmers who have complained of animal attacks destroying crops will now get insurance under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). The agriculture ministry on November 28 in its revised operational guidelines on the crop insurance scheme sponsored by the government (PMFBY) said crop loss due to the attack of wild animals will be implemented on a pilot basis.
It is estimated that 30-40 percent of crops are destroyed annually due to attacks by wild animals in India. Elephants, pigs, boars and deer are the most common perpetrators of the destruction. In some districts of Odisha and Kerala, elephants destroy up to 60 percent of crops the claims for which were not payable by insurance companies.
This will be implemented from the Rabi 2018-19. The last date for insurance of Rabi crops is December 15. Rabi crops like wheat and mustard are sown in winter and harvested in the spring season.
Perennial horticultural crops are included under PMFBY on a pilot basis. Any plant that lives more than two years is a perennial crop. Some of these include mango, rose, hibiscus, passion fruit and grapevine, among others.
In the revised guidelines, hailstorm has been included in post-harvest losses, besides unseasonal and cyclonic rainfall. Further, cloudburst and natural fire have been included in the localised calamities in addition to hailstorm, landslide and inundation.
The ministry of agriculture has said insurance companies must enrol 10 percent more non-loanee farmers than the previous season. They will also have to mandatorily spend 0.5 percent of their gross premium for publicity and awareness.
PMFBY, launched in 2016, aims to provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crop as a result of natural calamities, pests & diseases. The mission of the scheme is to not only stabilise the income of farmers but to encourage them to adopt modern agricultural practices.
Unlike previous schemes, PMFBY is open for both loanee and non-loanee farmers. It covers food crops (cereals, millets and pulses), oilseeds as well as horticultural crops.It has a uniform premium of two percent to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5 percent for all Rabi crops. For commercial and horticultural crops, the farmers’ premium is five percent. The rest of the premium is paid equally by the centre and respective state governments.