Agriculture remains a source of livelihood for almost half of humanity. It
is also a source of growth for national economies and can be a provider
of investment opportunities for the private sector. However, millions of
poor people face prospects of tragic crop failure or livestock mortality
when, as a result of climate change, rainfall patterns shift or extreme
events such as drought and floods become more frequent. Agricultural
insurance is key in assisting farmers, herders, and governments lessen the
negative financial impact of these adverse natural events.
This book is the result of 10 years of involvement in agricultural insurance
by the Insurance for the Poor team, Non-Bank Financial Institutions
unit in the Global Capital Markets Development Department of the
World Bank’s Financial and Private Sector Development (FPD) Vice Presidency.
Working together with our World Bank regional colleagues, our
team has assisted countries in developing sustainable agricultural insurance
programs in more than 20 countries. Noteworthy examples are the
weather-based crop insurance scheme in India, in which more than one
million farmers are currently insured ; and the index-based livestock insurance
program in Mongolia, where more than 600,000 animals are covered
against adverse weather.
Based on a unique review of agricultural insurance programs in 65
advanced and emerging countries, this book pulls together collective
knowledge and experiences to help policy makers promote sound agricultural
insurance programs. It provides policy makers with a current
picture of the spectrum of institutional frameworks and experiences with
agricultural insurance, ranging from countries in which the public sector
provides no support to those in which governments heavily subsidize agricultural
This book makes a compelling case for public-private partnerships in
the promotion of agricultural insurance, supported by the donor community
and international financial institutions like the World Bank. It provides
a systemic approach to making agricultural insurance markets more
stable, efficient, and accessible.
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