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India - Centre to use satellite data, drone images to settle insurance claims for crop loss

In order to get timely and accurate data of crop loss for early payment of insurance claims to the farmers, the Union Government is planning to use smart technologies to settle crop loss claims under the crop insurance programme and maintain a satellite data through remote sensing technology for dispute discrepancy resolution.

Presently general claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) are settled on the basis of yield data arrived from the crop cutting experiments (CCEs). For the localised loss of hailstorm, landslide inundation and other post-harvest, crop losses are being calculated on individual surveys.

However, the total number of manual CCEs is still insufficient as a result of which, there is an inordinate delay in claim processing and settlement. As a result, the government has planned real-time collection and transmission of yield date through a smartphone, CCE Agri APP for the Kharif 2017 season, to speed up the settlement of crop insurance cases.

Besides, Government would also start using Remote Sensing Technology (RST) including satellite data, and drones based images especially for CCE planning and risk mapping of districts for dispute and area discrepancy resolution. It would further ensure rationalization of actuarial premium rates, auto calculation of claims on the basis of real-time yield data and timely settlement of claims of farmers, said a senior officer of the Agriculture Ministry.

The government has already reduced the insurance unit area to village and panchayat level for major crops and asked state government to conduct at least 4 CCEs per crop at village panchayat level, 10 CCEs at revenue circle level, 16 at the Block level and 24 at District level. “But still it is a time-consuming process as there was only a small window available for CCEs, which was leading to delay in settlement of cases,” the officer said. The smart technologies would resolve and expedite these issues to a great extent, he added.

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