Index Insurance Forum

Impact/Field stories

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For eight years, Chandrasiri Vanasunder, a small holderfamer in the Ratnapura district of Sri Lanka, bore the losses caused by drought and excess-rainfall on his 2-acre tea estate. But all that begun tochange in 2012, when a sales representative from Sanasa told him about ‘index-based insurance’ for tea plants. “As soon as I heard about the product, I knew that this was a good product. I have suffered severe losses in the past, and this seemed like a smart idea to help me prepare for future uncertainty.” Vanasunder’s judgment proved right, as approximately half -way through the last season,...
Agricultural insurance plays an important role in stabilising farmers’ income and stimulating investment in agriculture. The market for these products has taken off since the Chinese government began to subsidise premiums. Challenges remain, however, and reinsurance can help support the industry with know-how and capacity.
About 65% of the cropped area in India is dependent on rains. Because most of the rains in India are received during the monsoon months, the crop growing seasons are quite short. Any aberrations in the amount of rainfall or in its distribution can adversely impact the crop yields. Yield and price uncertainties often reduce the incomes of the farm households and, consequently, their consumption levels and investments. Many of the farmers in the semi-arid tropics (SAT) of India live close to subsistence level, and shielding them from the weather-induced shocks in agricultural income is vital for their survival. The SAT accounts for 37% of the country’s geographical area as well as population, 46% of the net cultivated area, 59% of the coarse cereals area, 53% of the pulses area and 60% of the oilseeds area. Even 60% of the commercial crops are grown in the SAT. If rainfed agriculture in the SAT is to remain as a means of livelihood, ex-ante risk management is a critical first step to ex-post risk coping.