Question : Crop Loss Due to Climate Change

(a) whether agriculture has become a risky profession/enterprise due to change in climate/weather and regional calamities;

(b) if so, the details thereof;

(c) whether the Government has laid down any criteria to assess the damage to major crops due to climate/weather change and regional calamities and if so, the details thereof; and

(d) whether the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana adequately covers all the risks in agriculture sector and provide security to farmers in the form of crop insurance and if so, the details thereof?

Answer given by the minister


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(a) & (b): The frequent climatic/ weather variations and uneven rainfall distribution adversely impact the level of agriculture production and productivity. Due to two consecutive years of deficient and untimely rainfall in the country, the total foodgrains production has declined from 265.04 million tonnes in 2013-14 to 252.02 million tonnes in 2014-15 and 252.12 million tonnes in 2015-16.

(c): Agriculture is a state subject, and primary responsibility of the state government and many states have historically well defined methodology of assessing damage/crop loss arising due to natural calamities. However, in order to have a uniform and scientific basis of assessment of crop loss due to drought and other disasters, the Union Government in 2015 circulated the common guiding principles to all the state governments for incorporating in their prescribed methodology for submitting Memorandum for seeking assistance under National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), these include:

(i) Declaring standard yield in a notified insurance unit on the basis of average yield of past seven years, excluding calamity years.



(ii) Compiling crop yield data for each village/taluka/district through crop cutting experiment depending upon the states’ practice.

(iii) Assessment by eye-survey through a joint committee consisting of all stakeholders.

(iv) In case of 33% or more visualized damages, the same is to be assessed/ validated through an assessment procedure followed by a state and providing the same to the affected people, though crop cutting experiment is considered the most robust methodology and needs to be conducted to cover atleast 80% of the area sown in the case of all major crops.

(v) Further detailed guidelines, in addition to the above, cover such issues as adopting a system of inviting objections from interested groups; comparison with the standard yield; prescription of formats for calculation of assistance for small and marginal farmers; comparison of crop loss projected with crop production estimates; and validating the crop losses through space technology/drones.

(d): The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana provides for comprehensive risk insurance against crop damage from pre-sowing to post-harvest stage for food crops (cereals, millets and pulses), oilseeds and annual commercial horticultural crops notified by the concerned State Government. The Scheme provides a safeguard against widespread yield loss due to non-preventable natural risks, viz., flood, inundation, landslide, drought, dry spells, cyclone, etc., and against farm level yield loss due to localized risks (hailstorm, landslide and inundation), low sowing and post-harvest losses.


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