Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) was launched from Kharif 2016 with aim to support production in agriculture by providing an affordable crop insurance product to ensure comprehensive risk cover for crops of farmers against all non-preventable natural risks from pre-sowing to post-harvest stage.

 The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India (GoI) has endeavoured to make the Scheme more effective, transparent and auto-administration driven with the intention to minimize manual interventions and eliminate usage of variable methodologies for implementation and execution on the ground. This was facilitated by a detailed set of Operational Guidelines (OGs) and by leveraging efficient and cutting-edge technological solutions. Based on the past experiences of implementing the Scheme, study reports of various research institutions and feedback received from stakeholders, the scheme was reviewed and the revised OGs were brought st into effect from 01 Oct 2018 addressing major challenges. However, few challenges remained, especially long term tendering, optional coverage to all farmers, increase in the scope of risk cover and the addition of add-on covers. The MoA&FW had instituted a stakeholder consultation with State Governments, Farmers Organizations, ICs, Re-Insurance Companies, Financial Institutions, Research and Technical Organizations and the Central Government Ministries and Departments to identify the key challenges and finalize possible solutions/remedial measures to address such challenges. Based on the outcome of the consultations and discussions, the required corrections/changes were approved by the Union Cabinet for incorporation in the OGs of PMFBY/Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBICS). Accordingly, the OGs have been updated for reference and adoption by all stakeholders for effective implementation of the revamped PMFBY/RWBCIS.

1. Objective of the Scheme

PMFBY aims at supporting sustainable production in agriculture sector by way of:

•     Providing financial support to farmers suffering crop loss/damage arising out of unforeseen events.

•     Stabilizing the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming.

•     Encouraging farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices.

•     Ensuring credit worthiness of the farmers, crop diversification and enhancing growth and competitiveness of agriculture sector besides protecting the farmers from production risks.

 3. Coverage of Farmers:

3.1 All farmers including sharecroppers and tenant farmers growing the notified crops in the notified areas are eligible for coverage. However, farmers should have insurable interest for the insured crops and lands. Such farmers are required to submit necessary documentary evidence of land records prevailing in the State (Records of Right (RoR), Land Possession Certificate (LPC) etc.) and/or applicable contract/ agreement details/ other documents notified/ permitted by concerned State Government in case of sharecroppers/tenant farmers and the same should be defined by the respective States in the notification itself. Such farmers are also required to essentially submit Aadhaar Number and declaration about the crop sown/ crops intended to be sown.

3.1.1 Farmers availing the Kisan Credit Card (KCC)/Crop loan/Loanee Farmers: The scheme is optional for all farmers including farmers who have been sanctioned short-term Seasonal Agricultural Operations (SAO) loans/Kisan Credit Card (KCC) for the notified crops from defined FIs (hereinafter referred to as Loanee farmers). Existing Loanee farmers who do not want to get covered under the scheme have the option of opting-out from the Schemes by submitting requisite declaration to loan sanctioning bank branches any time during the year but at least seven days prior to the cut-off date for enrolment of farmers for the respective season. All those farmers who do not submit the declaration would be essentially covered. Farmer whose KCC /crop loan has become sub-standard as defined and as per prevailing practices of the concerned Banks/Government regulator shall not be considered as a Loanee farmer. However, bank branches may facilitate such farmers for enrolment as non-loanee farmers. Merely, sanctioning of crop loan against other collateral securities including fixed deposits, gold/jewel loans, mortgage loans etc. without having insurable interest of the farmer on the insurable land and notified crops shall not be eligible for coverage under the Scheme.

3.1.2 Other Farmers/Non-loanee Farmers: As mentioned in Para above, the Scheme is optional for all farmers including non-loanee farmers/other farmers. The insurance coverage will strictly be equivalent to the sum insured/hectare, as defined in the Government notification or /and on NCIP multiplied by proposed sown area for notified crop for enrolment.

3.1.3 Special efforts shall be made to ensure maximum coverage of Scheduled Caste (SC)/ Scheduled Tribe (ST)/ Women farmers under the Scheme. Further Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) may be involved in the extension activities and awareness creation among farmers and obtaining feedback from farmers about the implementation of the Scheme. 4  

3.1.4 The implementing IC selected as L1 will be responsible for taking necessary measures to ensure at least 10% incremental increase in coverage of non-loanee farmers in the district. However, other empanelled ICs which have participated in the bidding and are keen for enrolment of non loanee farmers in the cluster may also be allowed to enrol non-loanee farmers at L1 premium rate. The interested companies have to inform their willingness in writing within 7 days of the finalisation of tender/issuance of work order to L1. It will however be the responsibility of all the ICs engaged in this process to ensure that duplicate enrolment does not happen in the given cluster/district. Engaging companies other than L1 for enrolling non-loanee farmers will be taken up on a pilot basis in Districts notified/allowed by the State Government.

3.1.5 These ICs will maintain a separate database of such non-loanee farmers covered by them and enter the said data on the portal as per the seasonality discipline detailed in Para 16.4.They shall be liable for the payment of claims to such farmers.

3.1.6 The exchange of information and co-witnessing of CCEs for the district by the Government/NCIP will be limited to L1 Company only and it will be binding on other companies to accept it. The Nodal Department of State Government shall share the yield data for the computation of claims with all concerned ICs in the relevant IUs where they have done business for coverage of non-loanee farmers. Requisition for payment of Government subsidy in respect of non-loanee farmers enrolled by other ICs will be submitted directly to the Government designated agency. Claim calculation can be simultaneously done on NCIP based on the relevant crop-wise, IU-wise AY and TY data, weather data, threshold values and insured area data entered/shared by the respective State Government.

4. Coverage of Crops:

I. Food crops (Cereals, Millets and Pulses).

II. Oilseeds.

III. Annual Commercial / Annual Horticultural crops.

IV. In addition, pilots for coverage can be taken for those perennial horticultural/commercial crops for which standard methodology for yield estimation is available.

5. Coverage of Risks and Exclusions:

5.1 Basic Cover: The basic cover under the scheme covers the risk of loss of yield to standing crop (sowing to harvesting).This comprehensive risk insurance is provided to cover yield losses on an area based approach basis due to non-preventable risks like drought, dry spells, flood, inundation, wide spread pest and disease attack, landslides, natural fire due to lightening, storm, hailstorm, and cyclone.

5.2 Add-On Coverage: Apart from the mandatory basic cover, the State Governments/UTs, in consultation with the State Level Coordination Committee on Crop Insurance (SLCCCI) may choose any or all of the following add-on covers based on the need of the specific crop/area in their State to cover the following stages of the crop and risks leading to crop loss. 5  

5.2.1 Prevented Sowing/Planting/Germination Risk: Insured area is prevented from sowing/planting/germination due to deficit rainfall or adverse seasonal/climatic conditions. 5.2.2 Mid-Season Adversity: Loss in case of adverse seasonal conditions during the crop season viz. floods, prolonged dry spells and severe drought etc., wherein expected yield during the season is likely to be less than 50% of the normal yield. This add-on coverage facilitates the provision for immediate relief to insured farmers in case of occurrence of such risks.

5.2.3 Post-Harvest Losses: Coverage is available only up to a maximum period of two weeks from harvesting, for those crops which are required to be dried in cut and spread / small bundled condition depending on requirement of the crops in that area, in the field after harvesting against specific perils of hailstorm, cyclone, cyclonic rains and unseasonal rains. 5.2.4 Localized Calamities: Loss/damage to notified insured crops resulting from occurrence of identified localized risks of hailstorm, landslide, inundation, cloud burst and natural fire due to lightening affecting isolated farms in the notified area.

5.2.5 Add-on coverage for crop loss due to attack by wild animals: The States may consider providing add-on coverage for crop loss due to the attack by wild animals wherever the risk is perceived to be substantial and is identifiable. The detailed protocol and procedure for evaluation of the bids has been prepared by the GoI in consultation with the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MOEF&CC) and General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re). The add-on coverage will be optional for the farmers and applicable notional premium will be borne by the farmer, however the State Governments may consider providing additional subsidy on this coverage, wherever notified. The actuarial premium rates for add-on coverage should be sought in the bid itself from the IC, however the add-on actuarial premium rate will be considered separately and shall not form part of evaluation of L1.

5.3 States have to notify crop-wise specific period/duration for coverage of aforesaid add-on risks in their notification and the same will also be uploaded on NCIP.

5.4 General Exclusions: Losses arising out of war and nuclear risks, malicious damage and other preventable risks shall be excluded.

5.5 Loss/damage for localised calamities and post-harvest losses will be assessed at the level of the individual insured farm and hence lodging of loss intimation by the farmer/designated agencies is essential. For remaining risks, losses are due to widespread calamities, hence lodging of intimation for claims by insured farmers / designated agencies for such wide-spread calamities is not essential. Claims will be calculated based on the loss assessment report submitted by the District Level Joint Committee (DLJC) and/or average yield submitted by concerned State Government.