Niti Aayog unit bats for use of technology for crop insurance
New Delhi: A task force on the use of technology for agriculture insurance, set up by government think-tank Niti Aayog, has recommended the use of technologies such as dedicated satellites, mobiles and global positioning system (GPS) devices to ensure better implementation of the agriculture insurance scheme in the country.
India has all the technologies that could be put to use for quicker assessment and disposal of agri-related insurance claims, the task force, which was constituted in June last year, said in a report submitted on Wednesday.
The report was written by a 16-member committee headed by CCAFS (CGIAR research programme on climate change, agriculture and food security) global leader P.K. Aggarwal.
The report explores the use of technologies like dedicated satellites available with Isro (Indian Space Research Organization) and mobile phones as key instruments to bring about the change, said a member of task force, speaking on condition of anonymity. There are various ways, like a mobile can capture physiological conditions of crops and crop fields and the photographs can be sent with GPS coordinates, reducing chances of cheating. Similarly, mobile applications can be developed where a claimant can track his case, etc, the task force member added.
Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand said India has been using old technologies like crop cutting method and physical assessment by officials which is a cumbersome process and leads to considerable delay. “We wanted to expedite insurance related issues and quick methods of loss assessment so the task force was formed. Besides, right now insurance has lot of subjectivity and we wanted experts to tell us technology that can impart objectivity to assessment as now crop insurance is very comprehensive and includes post harvest losses, etc which can’t be assessed by conventional methods.” Chand declined to comment further, saying the report was submitted on Wednesday and he had not gone through it.
According to the terms of reference of the task force, it was asked to assess and analyse the availability and use of technology, globally and in India for insurance related to crop, livestock and aquaculture.
They were also asked to tell how technologies can be used in estimation of damage and losses to crops, livestock and aquaculture due to natural calamities or other hazards.