Writeshop: Index-based agricultural insurance: addressing questions of equity

A growing body of evidence suggests that index insurance can enhance farmers’ resilience to climate-related shocks.  This has led to optimism that index insurance can contribute to a reduction in rural poverty.  However, in fully addressing this claim, issues of inequality need to be brought to the fore, with due consideration given to how up-take of index insurance is shaped by existing inequalities and, in turn, these inequalities contribute to differential development outcomes for the rural poor. Put simply, poor farmers are not a homogenous category.  By implication socio-economic differentiation affects farmers’ access to opportunities provided by index insurance, alongside their ability to invest assets (time, labor, inputs) in the own-farm agricultural production that would lead to the productivity increases that are needed for household poverty reduction.  Together with socio-economic differences, the status of the farmer (for example gender, or social status), plus the cultural and geographical contexts in which farmers live shape the access to markets, institutions, and resources that are needed to capitalize on the development potential offered by index insurance.

Room: Seaview Lounge (Ground Floor)

Photo of agricultural landscape and clouds