The Agriculture Ministry has proposed a new national crop insurance scheme has moved a cabinet note, under which farmers will pay less premium of up to three per cent. Further, the Ministry is planning to roll out the scheme in the forthcoming rabi season starting October. Additionally, for the benefit of farmers in vulnerable and disaster-prone areas, the ministry has recommended premiums without any cap unlike the existing scheme MNAIS. Under the Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS), premiums are capped at 13 per cent in most vulnerable areas for kharif crops, while at 11 per cent for rabi crops.
Of the total premium fixed by the insurers under the existing crop insurance schemes NAIS and MNAIS, farmers are presently paying a premium of up to 3.5 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively, and the rest is borne by the government. On an average, insurance firms are charging an overall premium in the range of 1-20 per cent for agricultural crops.
As per the government data, currently, about 40.27 million hectare amounting 20 per cent of total farm land is insured under the existing schemes. Maximum area insured has been in Rajasthan at 12.26 million hectare, followed by Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Major crops insured are oilseeds, rice, wheat, pulses and coarse grains.
The government has been implementing various farm insurance schemes since 1985 in order to insulate farmers against agri-risks. At present, the government is offering three crop insurance schemes namely National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS), Modified NAIS and weather-based crop insurance scheme.
(Source – http://money.livemint.com/news/market/economy/market-pulse/agriculture-ministry-proposes-new-crop-insurance-scheme-394065.aspx)