ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana 2.0

Betrayal of the Initial Promise?

The union government’s flagship programme—the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana—launched in 2016 and revamped in 2020 for providing crop insurance to farmers—needs fundamental and structural changes for its effective implementation. The need of the hour is a more forceful and impactful state involvement in the scheme.


This article is based on a research project carried out by the Unique Foundation, Pune, based on fieldwork (conducted from October 2018 to April 2019) in 17 villages from five districts in Maharashtra. A report based on this study has been published in Marathi titled “Pradhanmantri Pik Vima Yojana: Maharashtra: Ek Mulyamapan” (2020). An English version of the same is under publication.

As the entire economy has been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown since 2020, it is perhaps only the agriculture sector that has shown a silver lining by registering a positive growth of 3.4% at constant prices in 2020–21, while all the other sectors have caved in. The share of agriculture in gross domestic product (GDP) has reached almost 20% for the first time in the last 17 years (GOI 2020–21). Despite adversities, natural as well as human-made, the performance of agriculture sector has been remarkable and it once again underlines its important place in Indian economy. This is not only because it ensures supply of foodgrains, thereby, ensuring food security to the expansive populace, but also because it is a major source of employment, especially, during the pandemic and the consequent lockdowns, which forced most of the unskilled/semi-skilled labourers to reverse-migrate from cities to villages.

This further underlines the dire necessity that the state should own up the responsibility of the agriculture sector and provide it necessary focus and investment, which has been long overdue. However, the state, on the other hand, seems to be increasingly pushing the sector towards private hands as seen recently through the three controversial farm acts. The union government’s flagship programme for providing crop insu­rance to farmers in distress, that is, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), originally launched in 2016 and revamped in February 2020, also seems to point in the same direction.

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Updated On : 8th May, 2021
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