Link crop insurance policies with service providers, says IFPRI researcher


Chennai, July 11, 2018: Insurance policies should be linked with other service providers such as banks and supermarkets to help farmers reduce their risks and coping with shocks, said Dr Berber Kramer, Research Fellow with International Food Research Policy Institute said in a talk at the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation today.

In her talk titled “Innovative solutions to agricultural risk management in the context of India’s crop insurance scheme” Ms Kramer highlighted how picture based loss assessment can help identify the right beneficiaries for insurance payouts in case of losses due to some weather related issues. “The pictures taken by farmer at each stage of agriculture helps them to not only monitor the agricultural process but also identify if weeds are present and if the crop is affected by any disease”, said Ms Kramer. In response to a question from the audience that there is not enough time to collect data by the government and send to the insurance providers, Ms Kramer said the picture-based scheme could reduce time taken and provide timely data.

The talk also identified how crop insurance particularly in the case of paddy can help reduce stubble burning and can help farmers move to conservation agriculture. Normally farmers burn the straw to prepare the field for next cropping season.

Ms Kramer also noted how this innovative insurance practice could be adopted for not just commercial crops but also other nutritious crops.

Mr Samir Shah, Executive Vice-Chair, Dvara Trust, while giving the closing remarks, said, “We require a holistic approach rather than a piecemeal one towards farmers welfare.” He also pointed out how insurance should take on more of a business-as-usual approach rather than a strategy to be used just in times of distress.