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There has been a steady decrease in the number of farmers in the state who are covered under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yoja or the crop insurance scheme.

According to the agri census held in 2015-16, the number of farmers in Gujarat was 53 lakh. The number of farmers who have been covered under the PMFBY has been less than 50% of the total farmers and this number has progressively fallen since 2016.

An analysis of the PMFBY in Gujarat was conducted by the Delhi-based Centre for Financial Accountability and authored by activist Persis Ginwalla. The study shows that while less than 50% of the total farmers of the state have been insured under the PMFBY, the number has progressively fallen since 2016. The scheme was rolled out across the country in 2016.

Ginwall said that while farmers do need insurance as they are vulnerable, the way the PMFMY has unfolded on the ground leaves many loopholes. “For the first two year, farmers did not know that they required insurance receipts to claim damages. Moreover, there have been delays in companies paying farmers for damages. These factors, along with others, are responsible for decreasing coverage, “said the study author.

According to the study, if the number of farmers in Gujarat is considered to be 53 lakh, the number of farmers insured under the PMFBY in 2016 was 37%. It was 33% in 2017, 29% in 2018 and 26% in 2019.

The full article published in the Times of India can be accessed here.

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