About 47,000 farmers of Parbhani district in the drought-prone Marathwada region of Maharashtra are yet to receive the claims for Kharif 2018 season under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana (PMFBY).
The insurance company, IFFCO Tokio, which covered red gram crop (tur) in Kharif season 2018, has not settled the claims so far. IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance is a joint venture between the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative (IFFCO)—world’s one of the biggest cooperative societies—and Tokio Marine Group—the largest listed insurance group in Japan. IFFCO holds 51% of this joint venture and remaining 49% is with the Tokio Marine Group.
Parbhani was dry all through out the Kharif season and though the red gram cultivation requires very little amount of water, the absence of shower even at the end of the monsoon put the farmers in a distressed state. Though the company had settled the claims of farmers in two of the nine talukas in the district, farmers from the rest of the talukas are still awaiting the compensation though they are eligible for the compensation as per the conditions of PMFBY.
“Not only the tur farmers, soyabean farmers have also faced this issue from the respective company,” said Ajit Nawale of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS).
“Different agricultural produces are covered by different companies; so, it is difficult to calculate the exact number of farmers who have not received claims,” Nawale added.
Read More: PMFBY: 40% Claims for Kharif Season Unpaid
Above all, irregularities were reported in crop cutting experiments (CCE) in Parbhani district in 2018 Kharif season. CCE, as the name indicates, is an experiment done in a sample plot. The experiment refers to the process of harvesting the crop, threshing and winnowing it and then weighing it and from this, the estimated yield for the whole sown area is projected.
CCEs are done in the presence of the district officials, farmers, and insurance company representative and it is the basis of the claim under the PMFBY.
As per the report in Hindu Business Line, they have obtained the yield data for 2018 Kharif season from the SAO (Superintendent Agriculture office), Parbhani twice—first time on March 19 this year and the second time on May 4. And it is observed that the yield data provided by the SAO in May was significantly higher than what was shown initially. This clearly raises question of how the yield data changed.
In the case of tur, the yield as captured in CCE documents in Jamb mandal (under Parbhani taluka) and given by SAO on March 19, was 410.125 kg/hectare. But in the data provided by the office in May, the yield for the crop in Jamb was reported as 471.13 kg/hectare. The yield for Pedgaon Mandal—which was originally shown as 41 kg/hectare—was later changed to 205 kg/hectare.
As CCE is calculated once at the end of the season before the farmers harvest their crop, how did it vary at two different points? Raising the same concerns and questions over the irregularities in CCE, farmers have conducted protests under the banner of AIKS. Despite the farmers’ demand to intervene in this matter, the state government has not done anything till date.
Though the farmers have sought intervention of the state government, nothing has happened. Such irregularities in CCE and settling the claims of farmers were also reported from different parts of Marathwada and Vidharbha regions.
“This is not only the case of Parbhani district, the entire Marathwada region and Vidharbha region face the same issues,” Nawale added.
Read More: Fasal Bima Yojana: Farmers’ Distress is Source of Profit for Companies