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Indian government agriculture insurance could add 3 million farmers

16th March 2017 - Author: Staff Writer

Weather Risk Management Services (WRMS), a pioneer for the Indian weather insurance market, has announced plans to connect 3 million farmers across 150 districts to the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana (PMFBY)- the Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme, BusinessLine reported.

The climate risk management firm works with farmers across the country, offering insurance against extreme weather and instructing on how to better protect crops from disease, increase crop yield and improve weather forecasting and crop estimates.

WRMS Founder and Managing Director, Sonu Agrawal, told BusinessLine the company would be working to “persuade the farmers to opt for crop insurance so as to minimize risk in the event of any untoward happenings to their crop”.

Founded in 2004, WRMS has pioneered growth of the weather insurance market in India, servicing over 10 hundred thousand farmers.

It reports having made payouts to about five hundred thousand Indian farmers who saw their crops devastated by extreme weather.

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Indian agriculture is especially vulnerable to severe weather risks such as droughts and floods, which can devastate the lives and livelihoods of local farmers who, until recently, have often been left to operate without protection.

In a move to protect local agriculture from climate risk, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, introduced the government’s crop insurance scheme in February last year, aiming to increase its insurance cover to 50% more farmers within the next 2-3 years.

Under the government scheme, farmers would pay out a minimum premium of between 2-5 % for crops, receiving cover for severe weather and calamities such as landslide, hailstorm and inundation.

Although the government has made moves to keep the demand for insurance under its mandate and within its borders by attempting to place limits on the companies approached to implement the scheme, as weather risk management firms work to carry out the Prime Minister’s goals for agriculture, the insurance sector will likely come to rely increasingly on reinsurers as it works to transfer risk and make its products more affordable for lower-income farmers.

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