Indian producers face several challenges to secure their household’s income, food provision while making an important economic contribution for the country. And one reason for the rising farm distress is crop failures and yield losses triggered by the vagaries of climate. The livelihood of a large proportion of India’s population—as the largest private enterprise with ~138 million farm families with an 18% contribution to national GDP—is at risk. Any shock on agricultural production already has social and financial repercussions for both the population and the country as a whole; it impacts rural income levels, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and, in the worst years, poverty rates.
The Government of India’s flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), compensates farmers for any crop losses. The scheme insures farmers against a wide range of external risks — droughts, dry spells, floods, inundation, pests and diseases, landslides, natural fire and lightning, hailstorms, cyclones, typhoons, tempests, hurricanes and tornadoes. While the idea of insuring farmers against crop losses isn’t new, the PMFBY is an attempt to plug the gaps in the previous crop insurance schemes — the National Agriculture Insurance scheme (NAIS) introduced in 1999 and the Modified NAIS (mNAIS) introduced in 2011.
The scheme came into operation from 1 April 2016 with a Central government budget allocation of Rs 5,500 crore for 2016–17. Further, the Central government plans to bring 40 per cent of agricultural area under PMFBY in 2017–18 and, accordingly, a provision of about Rs 9,000 crore has been made in the 2017–18 budget.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana promotes sustainable agriculture production through – i) financial support to farmers against crop losses due to climactic or external shocks ii) securing incomes iii) improved, modern and innovative farming practices for better yield iv) enhancing credit availability in the agricultural sector.
The Country Programme Document (2018-2022) of United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) approved by the Government of India has defined one of its foremost programme priorities and outcomes as “Institutional and systems strengthening for service delivery” as the single most innovations to achieve last mile developmental impact. UNDP will leverage its expertise in systems strengthening to support the Ministry of Agriculture to set up a Technical Support Unit for the implementation of PMFBY, to improve institutional and programme responsiveness, increase coverage and better access among the marginalised and excluded farm households offering innovative measures for risk management and reduced crop loss for the rural population in India. The TSU will strongly focus on providing Capacity Building and Training support to the participating state-level government departments involved in PMFBY and advancing the scheme among new states for improved uptake.
Under this partnership, UNDP wishes to hire the services of an Social Safeguard Specialist to perform the duties below.
Summary of Key Functions: As the Social Safeguard Specialist, the person will be responsible for supporting the NPC-TSU in ensuring the marginalised groups are included in the project design and implementation. The Social Safeguard Specialist will collaborate closely with project associate UNDP, the project admin focal point for all requisite submissions to be made to UNDP on a regular basis.
Organization : GoI- UNDP project with Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) : “Technical Support Unit for Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana”
Supervisor : National Programme Coordinator – Technical Support Unit
Duty Station : New Delhi, post location in Ministry – MOA&FW