By TV Mohandas Pai
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated on Saturday at the BJP’s national convention in New Delhi that his government is “working day and night to double farmers’ income by 2022”, when the country completes 75 years of its independence.
India has, indeed, taken many steps to reach this goal since the PM articulated this goal at a kisan rally in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, in February 2016. However, simply doubling farmers’ income in a good year will not end farmers’ distress. What farmers need is to be able to protect that income even in the ‘bad years’. One crucial component of protecting agricultural income is microinsurance.
From the 2016 kharif (autumn crop) season, the government replaced previous crop insurance schemes and introduced the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). But despite the best efforts, the gross arable land under this insurance cover has fallen, as compared to two years ago. Ask anyone