Crop Insurance is provided to the farmers of West Bengal as a government supported scheme since 1985 through implementation of Comprehensive Crop Insurance Scheme (CCIS). Since Rabi 2000-01 till Rabi 2015-16, NAIS (National Agricultural Insurance Scheme) / MNAIS (Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme) was implemented covering only final yield based loss. To motivate the farmers to undertake crop insurance, the State Government has been providing farmers’ share of premium along with state share of premium subsidy since 2012. From Kharif 2016-17, NAIS was replaced by the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) which was implemented in the State till Rabi 2018-19 season. The Government of West Bengal provided farmers’ share of premium in full for most of the notified crops except for Potato and Sugarcane, in which case the farmer has to pay a maximum premium of 4.85% and rest is borne by the State Govt. as premium subsidy through Bangla Fasal Bima Yojana (BFBY).
Why BSB scheme introduced in West Bengal?
Due to some inherent shortcomings in the Centrally Sponsored crop insurance scheme (PMFBY), the Govt. of West Bengal had no control over the implementation process though State Govt. bears 100% premium for all notified crops and in part for Potato and Sugarcane; limited access in PMFBY portal and delay(2-3 years) in settlement of claim the Govt. of West Bengal launched its own funded crop insurance scheme, namely, Bangla Shasya Bima (BSB) Scheme during Kharif 2019 to extend hassle free benefit of crop insurance to all farmers of the State and to ensure timely settlement of claims in the event of yield loss due to insurable risks. Technology based BSB scheme is being implemented in the State since Kharif -2020 with the aim to more quick, transparent and accurate claim assessment. Under Technology based BSB scheme claim assessment is made based on CHF(Crop Health Factor) which is prepared by using crop health data generated through satellite, weather data and ground trusting.
Who are benefitted?
The scheme is optional for all farmers (whether loaner or non-loaner). It is implemented season wise, on area approach basis for notified crops. Insurance Unit (IU) and crops are notified by the State Govt. in each season on the basis of recommendations of the State Level Co-ordination Committee on Crop Insurance (SLCCCI). IUs notified are GP (for paddy in all districts and potato in a few districts) or block (for potato in a few other districts and all other notified crops in all districts). For implementation of the scheme, Implementing Agencies are selected through e-tender from amongst Insurance Companies empanelled by Govt. of India. Agriculture Insurance Co. of India Ltd (AICIL) is implementing the Technology based BSB scheme in the State from Kharif- 2020.
The sum insured is equivalent to the scale of finance for the respective crops.
The Agriculture Department, West Bengal has developed a dedicated crop insurance portal for implementation of crop insurance. All insured farmers’ details covered under the scheme are uploaded in this portal.