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6   AgriTech indiA  January 2018                                                                                                     News


          Insurance firms see rich                                        At 305 mt, horticulture output

          pickings in crop cover                                          to be a tad higher this year


                                         they cannot charge fancy prices for their   he country’s horticultural production during the
                                         products.  One  immediate  fallout  is  that  Tcurrent  year  (July  2017-June  2018)  is  expected
                                         insurers are now taking high re-insurance   to go up by a marginal 1.6 per cent to 305.4 million
                                         cover,  for  approximately  60-70  per  cent   tonnes  (mt)  compared  to  300.6  mt  in  the  previous
                                         of  the  sum  assured  under  the  PMFBY.   year,  according  to  the  first  advance  estimates  of
                                         But  re-insurance  comes  at  a  cost  and  to   fruits  and  vegetable  production  released  by  the
                                         make  it  efficient,  risk  factors  have  to  be   Agriculture Ministry.
                                         assessed.                           The  production  of  vegetables  during  the  year
                                                                          is  projected  at  181  mt,  while  the  output  of  fruits
                                         TECH TO THE RESCUE               is  expected  to  touch  95  mt,  according  to  the  data
             rop  insurance  has  emerged  as  the   The  bottomline  is  that  companies   compiled  from  information  provided  by  various
          Cthird-largest  line  of  business  for  have to devise their own risk management   States and Union Territories.
          the  insurance  industry,  after  motor  and  practices; the better the risk management,   The  Ministry  also  released  the  final  estimates
          health, contributing 16 per cent of its total  the higher the chance of survival. Earlier,   for horticulture produce for 2016-17, which stood at
          general insurance premium of Rs. 1,28,000  for  instance,  insurers  depended  on  the   300.6 mt against 300 mt pegged in the third advance
          crore in FY17. The Centre’s flagship crop  archaic  practice  of  sample  harvesting  to   estimates released in August last year.
          insurance  scheme,  the  Pradhan  Mantri  determine  the  yield  of  a  region.  Today,                 cent increase in production to 20.7 mt (19.5 mt).
          Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), has played  they  are  leaning  more  and  more  on   Veggie output up
          a significant role in this shift.  modern technology. This has, for instance,   While the production of vegetables was higher   Citrus fruits
            Indeed,  the  share  of  crop  insurance  led insurers to tie up with private weather   than  the  last  projections,  that  of  fruits  and  spices   There will be a slight increase in the production
          may  increase  further,  and  very  rapidly,  agencies  for  region-or  district-specific   dipped slightly.  of  citrus  fruits  too  —  11.7  mt  against  11.4  mt  in
          as the Centre has increased the insurable  weather data.           Among major vegetables, the output of tomatoes,   the  previous  year.  The  output  of  bananas,  on  the
          crop coverage from 30 per cent to 40 per   On  its  part,  HDFC  ERGO  has   whose price soared during the year, is estimated to   contrary, is expected to edge down to 30.2 mt (30.5
          cent this year and is scheduled to increase  developed  a  mobile-based  app,  where   record an impressive 7.7 per cent growth to 22.3 mt   mt).
          it to 50 per cent in the next Budget.  geo-tagged  images  from  the  field  are   (20.7  mt),  whereas  that  of  potatoes  is  expected  to   The  total  acreage  under  horticultural  crops
            The increase in coverage limit has a  uploaded for an updated view of the crop   grow by mere 1 per cent to 49.3 mt.  increased slightly to 24.92 million hectares (mh) from
          proportional impact on premium. “From  situation. The company is also planning   Production  of  onion,  on  the  other  hand,  is   24.85 mh in 2016-17.
          Rs. 21,000 crore in FY17, crop insurance  to deploy drones for assessment.  projected  to  drop  by  4.5  per  cent  to  21.4  mt  (22.4   The  area  under  fruits  cultivation  registered  a
          premium  is  expected  to  increase  to  Rs.                    mt).                                    minor  increase  to  6.43  mh  from  6.37  mh,  the  area
          25,000-26,000  crore  this  year,”  K  Sanath  DRONES TO THE FORE  Mangoes, the second highest grown fruit in the   under  vegetables  shrank  10.17  mh  from  10.24  mh
          Kumar,  CMD  of  State-owned  National   “We did a pilot to assess crop-loss from   country after bananas, are set for a notable 6.2 per   last year.
          Insurance Company, told.       floods in Beed district of Maharashtra. The
            However,  while  an  increase  in  results are satisfactory,” Mukesh Kumar,
          crop  coverage  and  a  subsequent  rise  in  Executive Director, HDFC ERGO, said.  Technology to the rescue of carrot
          premium is music to the industry’s ears,   ICICI Lombard is also experimenting
          assessing and settling claims is a highly  with  drones,  said  Sanjay  Datta,  Chief–
          complex and risky exercise.    Underwriting & Claims.           farmers in Bharatpur
                                            Drones   with   image-recognition
          RETAIL IN NATURE               software may prove efficient, said Joydeep   machine  for  washing  agricultural  produce  is   at Kosi Kalan in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, from
            While the risks are fairly well defined  K Roy, Partner & Leader, Insurance and   A  helping farmers grow carrots at Indroli village   where it is supplied to markets in cities like Delhi,
          and insurers have a relatively easy job in  Allied Businesses, PwC India.  in  the  Bharatpur  district  of  Rajasthan.  Two  carrot   Gurugram and Agra.
          assessing the claims ratio for health and   To  keep  pace  with  the  demand  for   washing  machines  installed  in  the  village  have   Saini,  a  landowner,  said  farmers  in  his  village
          motor  insurance,  the  rules  of  game  are  improved crop-analysis technology from   enhanced farmers’ profits.  had earned Rs. 2 crore over the past three months
          different in crop insurance, which is retail  insurance  companies,  Karnataka  has   “Carrots  are  grown  on  land  measuring  about   as a result of fast and clean washing of carrots with
          in  nature,  with  the  fate  of  the  farmer’s  developed  an  app  to  provide  updated   500 acres in Indroli during winter. The replacement   the  machines.  “Our  produce  is  sold  in  the  market
          crop linked to climatic and other regional  information  on  the  crop  position,  said   of manual washing with the mechanical devices has   just with the identity of Indroli. Our carrots are big,
          risks.                         ON  Singh,  Chairman,  Universal  Sompo   immensely helped us in increasing our production,”   shining red, and nutritious,” he said.
            In the days of climate change, scattered  General Insurance.   Lal Singh Saini, who brought the first carrot washing   The  other  machine  installed  in  the  village  was
          rainfall  and  pest  attacks,  such  risks  are   Singh  expects  other  States  to  follow   machine  to  Indroli  four  years  ago  from  Punjab,   manufactured  locally  as  an  imitation  of  Saini’s
          wider than in, say, motor insurance.  the Karnataka example and provide real-  said.                    apparatus. Both machines are used by their owners
            Again, unlike other products, insurers  time  data  on  crop  position.  Universal   Villagers with a bumper crop of carrots in the   and  also  rented  out  for  use  by  other  farmers.
          are allowed entry into the PMFBY through  Sompo  is  tying  up  with  technology   current season are sending about 100 quintals of it   Bharatpur-based   Lupin   Foundation   provides
          competitive  bidding.  In  other  words,  providers for agri-data.  every day, after washing, to the agricultural mandi   technical assistance for their maintenance.
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