UNDP India Collaborates with Absolute to Strengthen PMFBY

UNDP India Collaborates with Absolute to Strengthen PMFBY

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Absolute®, a bioscience company, have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), India’s flagship agricultural insurance scheme, and enhance the resilience of farmers.

India confronts various challenges, including weather fluctuations, pest attacks, erratic rainfall, and humidity, which adversely affect agricultural yields and farmers’ income each year. Over the period from 2015 to 2021, India lost 33.9 million hectares of cropped area due to floods and excess rains, and 35 million hectares due to drought.

The PMFBY, also known as the Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme, provides financial support to farmers facing crop loss or damage resulting from these unforeseen events. By stabilizing farmers’ income, encouraging the adoption of innovative agricultural practices, and facilitating the flow of credit to the agriculture sector, the PMFBY promotes food security, crop diversification, and the growth and competitiveness of the agriculture sector.

The collaboration between UNDP India and Absolute® aims to enhance the implementation of PMFBY and the Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS). This will be achieved by strengthening the technical capabilities of the schemes and digitizing the service delivery of crop insurance and agricultural credit processes, thus increasing their accessibility and uptake. Additionally, credit profiling of farmers, agri-entrepreneurs, and Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs) will be promoted to enable accurate crop loss assessment and risk evaluation for better agriculture financing.

Utilizing advanced technology and data-driven solutions, UNDP and Absolute® will facilitate farmland identification, enhance farm monitoring, research and analytical capabilities, and support data-driven policymaking and fraud analytics. This will ensure efficient and transparent delivery of government support to vulnerable farmers.

Agam Khare, Founder & CEO of Absolute®, expressed that this partnership with UNDP is a significant step in mitigating climate-driven yield losses in agriculture. They envision using plant science and technology to empower farmer communities and make agriculture climate resilient.

UNDP has been collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture & Family Welfare since 2018. In 2022, through their technical support unit, UNDP reached out to 1.71 crore farmers through various information, education, and communication (IEC) campaigns, including Crop Insurance Week and over 2.39 lakh Fasal Bima Pathshalas or crop insurance classroom sessions.

Amit Kumar, Head of Sustainable and Inclusive Growth at UNDP India, emphasizes that risk is an inherent part of agriculture and a major obstacle to improving the lives of farmer communities in India. This partnership represents a crucial stride towards strengthening the risk and credit ecosystem for agriculture in the country. UNDP India is dedicated to collaborating with the government and partners to help Indian farmers rise with resilience.

The infusion of technology through this partnership will also promote a robust credit flow to the agriculture sector, thereby strengthening food security, crop diversification, enhanced growth, and competitiveness in India’s agriculture sector.

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