Mobile phone app launched to strengthen new insurance scheme for India’s farmers

Mobile phone app launched to strengthen new insurance scheme for India’s farmers

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Image Courtesy: Claro Energy

India: Against a backdrop of worsening vulnerability to climate-related risks in India’s agriculture, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is launching a mobile app, called AgRISE, in support of a new national agricultural insurance scheme – Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). The scheme aims to provide more than half of Indian farmers with crop insurance within the next 2-3 years. Mr. Ashish Kumar Bhutani, Joint Secretary to the Government of India and CEO of PMFBY, Ministry of Agriculture, presented the new app today at the 5th Asia Agriculture Insurance Conference.

Relying on satellite and climate data, combined with field data on crop yields, AgRISE (Agricultural Remote Sensing-based Insurance for Security and Equity) delivers a crop health card, which enables insurers and government agencies to estimate crop damage and overall insured losses quickly and reliably for all of India’s major crops. Based on the latest geospatial technology (Google Earth Engine and Open Data Kit for field data collection), the tool will strengthen the implementation of PMFBY, reducing costs and facilitating the whole process.

‘The sheer scale on which PMFBY must be implemented poses a major challenge for both the government and insurance industry’, said Dr. Giriraj Amarnath, leader of IWMI’s Water Risks Research Group. ‘Especially daunting are the tasks of making reliable data available to verify yield losses and carrying out more than 2.5 million crop observation experiments across a vast area. AgRISE is expected to speed data collection and verification, leading to faster settlement of insurance claims.’