Driver needed for development opportunity in weather insurance

    Why is index-based weather insurance for smallholder farmers in Africa still an untapped development opportunity?

    Because no one so far “nobody has had the courage to say, let’s do this on scale, let’s go national” and commit funds to setting up parallel weather data collecting stations in areas where government-run meteorological services are pretty much inexistent, Bernard Pacher, managing director of Adcon, told Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar at the European Development Days in Brussels.

    Despite the success of pilot programs in Kenya, Pacher explained that the aid community won’t move until they find a driver, and donors continue to view weather infrastructure as something governments should not be taking care of — but the private sector is also wary.

    “They look at it from a business perspective, [so] you never get to the critical mass for this to be economically viable for insurance companies,” he said.

    Click on the above video for more of Pacher’s insights on the challenges of data collection for index-based weather insurance, and why donors should step in to breach the gap between the needs of farmers and insurance firms in the developing world.

    Devex was at the European Development Days 2013. Check out our coverage of Europe’s leading global development event of the year.

    About the author

    • Carlos Santamaria

      Carlos is a former associate editor for breaking news in Devex's Manila-based news team. He joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE ,and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York, and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.

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