Less than 20 per cent farmers have insured their crops in India, while the vast majority is exposed to the vagaries of weather which leads them to take desperate steps, according to a study.
At the all-India level, only 19 per cent of farmers reported ever having insured their crops. A very large proportion of 81 per cent were found to be unaware of the practice of crop insurance, the study done jointly by Assocham and Skymet Weather said.
Of the un-insured, 46 per cent were found to be aware but not interested while 24 per cent said that the facility was not available to them. Only 11 per cent felt that they could not afford to pay the insurance premium, the study said.
There are about 32 million farmers who have been enrolled in various crop insurance schemes across India.
However, issues in design, particularly related to delays in claim settlement, have led to farmers not being covered, despite significant government subsidy, it said.
“Implementation and technical challenges lie ahead which can be addressed but will require a comprehensive strategy, innovative solutions, and timely roll out,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.
To address the problems, the government is piloting a modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS), a market-based scheme with involvement from the private sector.