Can technological innovations help improve agricultural micro-insurance?
Agricultural insurance is essential for smallholder farmers, as plots of land are small and the consequences of crop diseases and climate change effects can be disastrous. Yeld loss and damage monitoring and verification can be long and laborious task, causing huge delays in settlements. Although new technologies have been applied, drones, micro-satellites, digital photography can help improve the monitoring of crops and yelds for smallholders and insurance companies.
Remote sensing can be a key tool for farmers to prove their crop and harvest loss to insurance companies. At the same time, companies can have more control over these trends. As a result of this, companies can offer a more balanced and fairer price for their micro-insurance products to farmers, and in return farmers will feel more engaged in the insurance process and be more prone to buying micro-insurance products.
The CGIAR Research Programs on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM), along with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), organised a workshop in Washington D.C. in October 2016, to analyse whether remote sensing and other technologies can help improve the design of agricultural micro-insurance products that are appealing to farmers and insurance companies alike. The main outcome was that although many studies have been conducted, field-based experiment on these technologies in the field of micro-insurance has not yet been done.
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) South Asia is testing these technologies for yield loss assessment in four soybean growing districts of Maharashtra state in India. The experiment, which has the objective of the efficiency of these tools in monitoring smaller parcels of land, started in 2016 and will go on throughout 2017.