The Government of Meghalaya is extending premium support to the extent of 100% towards the farmers of the State for both Kharif and Rabi seasons during 2023-24 under the Crop Insurance Scheme "Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)". The Scheme has been made applicable to all farmers of the State growing the notified crops in the notified areas upto 1 acre per crop per farmer.
The vision of the State Government under the leadership of the Chief Minister is to take up a farmer-centric approach in devising a strategy to protect them from the risks of crop failure. In order to support the farmers of the State in stabilizing their incomes against the risks of crop failure, the Government of Meghalaya has decided to provide free premium support amounting to Rs. 4.4 crores, covering both Kharif and Rabi seasons during 2023-24, whereby the premium for the farmers shall be paid by the State Government to an extent of 100% of the premium amount. With over 80% of the population of the State dependent on agriculture, the assistance via premium provides the much-needed cushion to farmers in the case of crop failure.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) was implemented in the State of Meghalaya since its commencement with effect from Kharif 2016. The main objective of the Scheme is to provide financial support to farmers suffering crop loss/damage due to unforeseen natural calamities and events. A farmer has to pay a 2% premium for Kharif crops, 1.5% for Rabi crops and a premium of 5% for horticultural crops under this Scheme. Farmers have to pay the premium out of sum insured and the remaining premium is paid by the Government on sharing basis between Government of India and the State Government at 50:50 sharing basis. However, the sharing of the subsidy was made to 90:10 basis w.e.f Kharif 2020, in the revamped PMFBY. The Scheme is available to all farmers growing the notified crops in the notified areas including the sharecropper and tenant farmers. The Scheme was made voluntary with effect from Kharif 2020 season.
Efforts to popularize the Scheme and ensure increased farmer enrolment is underway by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare in collaboration with the Implementing Agency, the Agriculture Insurance Company which is responsible to conduct awareness programmes from time to time as mandated by the Scheme. The estimated amount of premium support by the Government of Meghalaya of Rs. 4.4 crores is based on the enrolment target of 27,000 number of farmers for Kharif season 2023 and 10,000 number of farmers for the Rabi season 2023-24. The premium support guarantee by the Government of Meghalaya is expected to reverse the extremely low enrolled number of beneficiaries under the Scheme so far in the State and will relieve a significant section of farming households in the State of the risks of crop damage/crop failure.