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Boosting Agriculture Risk Mitigation through Weather Index Insurance for Smallholder Farmers in Bangladesh

Funder

InsuResilience Solutions Fund (ISF)

Partners

Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), Walker Institute, BRAC, Green Delta Insurance Company, EnvEve, IRI

Timescales

Oct 2020 - Dec 2022

Country/Region

Bangladesh

Key Contact

Prof Ros Cornforth

Keywords

climate, agriculture, livelihoods, risk, weather index insurance, actuary, training,

Status

Current

Background

Bangladesh is one of the countries likely to be most affected by climate change. As Cyclone Amphan in May 2020 demonstrated, the country’s subtropical monsoon climate leaves it highly susceptible to natural disasters. Food security depends heavily on over 12 million smallholder farmers. They are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events and have suffered heavily from the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this vulnerability, however, agricultural insurance in Bangladesh is still in its infancy.

This new international project partnership, co-funded by the ISF, aims to provide suitable climate-risk insurance to the farmers affected. The project aims to enhance local livelihoods by facilitating investment in crop and livestock production, and creating resilience and stability.

 

Our research

A partnership consisting of the Walker Institute, the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) and further organizations address this challenge.

The partnership aims to improve smallholders’ resilience to climate change by providing suitable insurance products based on a reliable, quantitatively based estimate of the affordability of different insurance products (eg standard insurance products vs microinsurance products).

ISF is co-funding the research, development and scale-up of the climate risk insurance for a range of crops that is tailored to meet smallholders’ needs. Existing insurance policies for potatoes and rice farmers will be further expanded and new products for farmers cultivating corn, beans, and vegetables will be developed. With help of the Swiss digital-platform developer EnvEve S.A., the consortium is also developing a software platform to support product development, pricing, and distribution.

Our impact

In Bangladesh, getting insurance into farmers’ hands takes place in collaboration with local partners.

BRAC, the world’s largest NGO and microfinance institution, and Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd, the largest non-life insurance company and only agricultural-and- livestock insurance provider of Bangladesh, will distribute the insurance products in at least nine districts.

The project activities are complemented by actuarial training in collaboration with the Walker Institute's interdisciplinary training arm, the Walker Academy, and through the provisions of agro-advisory services for farmers and insurers.

A sense of urgency about combating climate disruptions cannot be overemphasized. Insurance to the smallholder farmers is essential for food security, job creation, and the overall economy because it is meant to increase financial resilience against adverse climatic events. This project will help expand financial inclusion as it encourages lenders such as ourselves to increase agri-financing to smallholders, facilitating them to adopt newer technologies and ensure business continuity through natural disasters with climate insurance derisking.”

Hasib Ahmed, Microinsurance Lead, BRAC