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Remote sensing for index insurance. Findings and lessons learned for smallholder agriculture

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Index insurance has a role to play in agricultural development and risk management, yet it faces operational and technical challenges to reach scale and sustainability. Data are a key challenge and were the focus of the project “Improving Agricultural Risk Management in Sub-Saharan Africa: Remote Sensing for Index Insurance”. Limited availability, accessibility, quantity and poor quality of data on the ground are some of the primary technical constraints preventing scale-up and sustainability of index insurance. Without sufficient quality data, either it is impossible to design products for some areas and countries, or products that are designed can become unreliable, not compensating when they should. These inconsistencies intensify vulnerability, lead to distrust of insurance, and ultimately have an impact on demand.

This publication details the project, which investigated overcoming issues with ground data by using remote sensing data for index insurance. It describes the different remote sensing options and opportunities available for index insurance, but it also recommends further investment in research and development, supplementary ground data and capacity-building going forward.

The project was financed by Agence Française de Développement with an additional contribution from the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office, and was carried out by the Weather Risk Management Facility of the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme. The Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) provided significant contributions and support throughout the project.

For a summary of key information for people working in the insurance community, agricultural development and government  please refer to Remote sensing for index insurance: An overview of findings and lessons learned for smallholder agriculture.

Publisher website  -  English (en)

Document url  -  English (en)

Document Information

Document Type Report
Author Emily Coleman; William Dick; Sven Gilliams; et al.,
Year of Publication 2018
Publisher IFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
Rome, Italy
Number of Pages 180 pp.
Region / Country Global /
Primary Language English (en)
Keywords Insurance, smallholder finance, Index Insurance
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