Crop insurance policies should be linked with service providers such as banks, supermarkets and suppliers of farm implements to help farmers reduce their risks, Dr Berber Kramer, Research Fellow with the US-based International Food Research Policy Institute (IFPRI) said on Thursday.
Speaking at a seminar on 'Innovative Solutions to Agricultural Risk Management in the Context of India's Crop Insurance Schemes", organised by M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) here, Ms Kramer presented findings from a study that showed how picture based loss assessment could help identify the right beneficiaries for insurance payouts in case of losses due to unforeseen weather conditions. "The pictures taken by farmers at each stage of crop growth help the right beneficiaries receive insurance payouts. Farmers are happy to adopt this method because it also helps them monitor their crops for weeds or pests," she added.
In response to an observation that the government does not find enough time to collect data before the harvest to send to insurance providers, Ms Kramer said the picture-based scheme could reduce time taken.
''When farmers are given subsidies by insurance companies to stop practices such as burning the stubble after harvesting paddy, they tend to adopt climate-smart and conservation agriculture'', she added. ''Normally farmers burn the straw to prepare the field for next cropping season\\, Ms Kramer said and added that this innovative insurance practice could be adopted for not just commercial crops, but also nutritious crops.
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