UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

$1.7 Million Grant from USAID to Establish World's First Index Insurance Quality Certification in East Africa

Aug. 29, 2018

UC Davis has been awarded a $1.7 million grant from USAID for a collaborative initiative, "Innovations to Improve Quality and Uptake of Agricultural Index Insurance in East Africa."

High-quality agricultural index insurance has shown promise in promoting resilience among small-scale farmers who face a constant risk of drought and other weather-related shocks. However, despite decades of investments, this tool has yet to achieve its broadest impact, in part because of low-quality contracts that don't reliably pay farmers for losses and that sometimes pay when there are none.

"This initiative to establish a certification for index insurance quality could have a ripple effect that creates incentives for insurance companies to create higher-quality contracts," said ARE Professor Michael Carter, the initiative's lead. "This development could significantly improve small-scale farmers' opportunities for long-term resilience despite increasing risks of weather-related catastrophes."

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