Micro Crop Insurance – On the Radar

This Thursday, RESULTS Executive Director Aaron Oxley attended a meeting in Bonn, Germany, with other members of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII).

At the meeting we examined the prospects for scaling up weather indexed micro crop insurance around the world this year, particularly as the UNFCCC climate negotiations are looking increasingly like they will allow for substantial funds to be made available as the negotiations are finalised in the coming years.

After the failure of Copenhagen to secure a “Big Bang” style globally binding climate deal in 2009, the progress made in Cancun in December 2010 signalled a new approach with more space being created for “bottom up” initiatives. Weather indexed insurance that targets smallholder farmers is a vital component in this, and can be implemented right away. This is important: as events in Pakistan show, the weather does not wait for negotiations, and absolutely impacts the poorest the hardest. The sooner we can begin to increase investments in protecting poor farmers and agricultural workers, the better.Exciting pilots are progressing around the globe, with some poised to begin to scale-up to cover larger and larger numbers of farmers. In addition, there is a recognition that it’s not just farmers, as other very poor people often depend indirectly on agriculture for their income. One example, is landless labourers, who typically make a large part of their income by harvesting crops. If the crop fails, they have no income and no ability to buy food for their families. Even people working in the tourism industry can be affected – market traders, handicraft makers, and so on. So it is heartening to see progress being made in protecting these people, too, from the destructive forces of adverse weather triggered by climate change.

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