Opinion: 5 ways to invest in building agricultural insurance markets

Herders and farmers at a goat market in Kenya. Photo by: University of California, Davis

An accumulation of evidence in recent years has shown that index insurance can be a key tool for the future of food security and resilience. This development has governments and donors rushing to invest in subsidies to help speed uptake, but what kinds of investments should be priorities?

Index insurance for agriculture has shown remarkable potential for smallholder farmers at risk of climate-related disasters across the developing world. While conventional insurance requires losses to be verified, index insurance avoids these high costs by basing payouts on an averaged index of factors, such as vegetation growth or rainfall, that can be measured remotely.

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About the author

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    Tara Steinmetz

    Tara Steinmetz is the assistant director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets & Market Access at the University of California, Davis, where she supports a wide portfolio of research focused international development, risk management and resilience, including the I4 Index Insurance Innovation Initiative. She holds a B.A. in political science from American University and a master of public policy from Duke University.