Combined Impact of Agriculture Insurance Scheme and Technology on Agriculture
The agriculture sector is evolving with the application of several modern technologies in farm management solutions; Information & Communication Technology (ICT) is one of them. ICTs include tools, devices that allow the collection or exchange of data by transmission or interaction. It involves various concepts such as radio, mobile phone, television, electronic money transfer, internet and so forth. The impact of ICT in agriculture is enormous in terms of connectivity and productivity. Markets accessibility and weather adaptability have enhanced with the use of ICT in smartphone agricultural applications. Intensive agriculture and strategic use of ICT in agriculture can reduce the productivity gap and demand globally.
The productivity gap has various reasons, such as lack of financing, inadequate irrigation, inefficient supply chains, and most importantly, the risk involved in agriculture due to high dependency on weather conditions. Distributors play a significant role in supplying chemicals and seeds to farmers. If farmers get sources that are not pest-resistant, then the produce is wasted, resulting in substantial economic losses. Farmers rarely receive subsidies and investments announced in policies that increase the productivity gap. About 70% of Indian agriculture depends on rainfall water spread across 6,00,000 villages. Groundwater levels are declining with climate change that leads to inadequate irrigation.
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India’s central government has launched various agriculture insurance schemes to reduce this production gap and double farmers’ income by 2022. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) are a few agriculture insurance schemes within India. PMFBY was launched in 2016, which supports farmers financially to cover their Rabi, Kharif, annual horticulture and commercial crop losses. PMKSY invests in irrigation to expand the cultivable area, reducing wastage and improving efficiency with the allocation of 7.64 billion USD (United States Dollar).
PKVY promotes organic farming and balanced application of fertilisers to enhance yield quality. At the same time, ATMA facilitates data entry and retrieval from the internet-based portal on a simple mobile phone without using an internet connection. It has initialised and operationalised dozen of services for farmers and other individuals in the agriculture value chain. Though we agree that the impact of ICT in agriculture is significant, the appreciation of technologies from the farmer’s side increased with the government’s agriculture insurance schemes. Combining insurance policies with leveraged advanced technologies specifically for smallholders will reduce the production gap drastically and rapidly.