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The influence of gender and product design on farmers' preferences for weather-indexed crop insurance.

Akter S, Krupnik TJ, Rossi F, Khanam F - Glob Environ Change (2016)

Bottom Line: Theoretically, weather-index insurance is an effective risk reduction option for small-scale farmers in low income countries.Renewed policy and donor emphasis on bridging gender gaps in development also emphasizes the potential social safety net benefits that weather-index insurance could bring to women farmers who are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change risk and have low adaptive capacity.Our results reveal significant insurance aversion among female farmers, irrespective of the attributes of the insurance scheme.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, 469C Bukit Timah Road, 259772, Singapore; Social Sciences Division, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Laguna 4031, Philippines.

ABSTRACT

Theoretically, weather-index insurance is an effective risk reduction option for small-scale farmers in low income countries. Renewed policy and donor emphasis on bridging gender gaps in development also emphasizes the potential social safety net benefits that weather-index insurance could bring to women farmers who are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change risk and have low adaptive capacity. To date, no quantitative studies have experimentally explored weather-index insurance preferences through a gender lens, and little information exists regarding gender-specific preferences for (and constraints to) smallholder investment in agricultural weather-index insurance. This study responds to this gap, and advances the understanding of preference heterogeneity for weather-index insurance by analysing data collected from 433 male and female farmers living on a climate change vulnerable coastal island in Bangladesh, where an increasing number of farmers are adopting maize as a potentially remunerative, but high-risk cash crop. We implemented a choice experiment designed to investigate farmers' valuations for, and trade-offs among, the key attributes of a hypothetical maize crop weather-index insurance program that offered different options for bundling insurance with financial saving mechanisms. Our results reveal significant insurance aversion among female farmers, irrespective of the attributes of the insurance scheme. Heterogeneity in insurance choices could however not be explained by differences in men's and women's risk and time preferences, or agency in making agriculturally related decisions. Rather, gendered differences in farmers' level of trust in insurance institutions and financial literacy were the key factors driving the heterogeneous preferences observed between men and women. Efforts to fulfill gender equity mandates in climate-smart agricultural development programs that rely on weather-index insurance as a risk-abatement tool are therefore likely to require a strengthening of institutional credibility, while coupling such interventions with financial literacy programs for female farmers.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Sampled maize farming households on Bhola Island, Bangladesh.
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fig0010: Sampled maize farming households on Bhola Island, Bangladesh.

Mentions: A household survey was conducted in three sub-districts of Bhola island, namely, Bhola Sadar, Borhanuddin and Daulatkhan (Fig. 2). Maize has been promoted in these sub-districts by a large Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID-funded project (the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia, or CSISA), and the USAID Mission supported CSISA expansion project in Bangladesh (CSISA-BD), since the winter season of 2011–12. All listed maize farmers, male and female, in the three sub-districts were considered as the sample frame; farmer lists were obtained from the local offices of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), CSISA, and local NGOs. Women farmers comprised 20% of the sample frame. In this context, ‘women farmers’ refer to women who were encouraged by extension agents to enlist themselves as farmers with the local NGO or the local DAE offices. Such enlisting helps the NGOs and DAE to fulfill their women beneficiary targets. They are not necessarily household heads, but are commonly the primary female decision makers in each household. In total, 433 fully structured face-to-face interviews (70% men and 30% women) were conducted by 20 local enumerators (14 male, 6 female, the latter primarily interviewing female respondents) between 10 and 28 June 2014 (see Appendix D in Supplementary material for more survey details). Women were slightly oversampled to reflect the standard (minimum) 30% target of reaching female beneficiaries by development projects (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2008).


The influence of gender and product design on farmers' preferences for weather-indexed crop insurance.

Akter S, Krupnik TJ, Rossi F, Khanam F - Glob Environ Change (2016)

Sampled maize farming households on Bhola Island, Bangladesh.
© Copyright Policy - CC BY
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4862443&req=5

fig0010: Sampled maize farming households on Bhola Island, Bangladesh.
Mentions: A household survey was conducted in three sub-districts of Bhola island, namely, Bhola Sadar, Borhanuddin and Daulatkhan (Fig. 2). Maize has been promoted in these sub-districts by a large Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID-funded project (the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia, or CSISA), and the USAID Mission supported CSISA expansion project in Bangladesh (CSISA-BD), since the winter season of 2011–12. All listed maize farmers, male and female, in the three sub-districts were considered as the sample frame; farmer lists were obtained from the local offices of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), CSISA, and local NGOs. Women farmers comprised 20% of the sample frame. In this context, ‘women farmers’ refer to women who were encouraged by extension agents to enlist themselves as farmers with the local NGO or the local DAE offices. Such enlisting helps the NGOs and DAE to fulfill their women beneficiary targets. They are not necessarily household heads, but are commonly the primary female decision makers in each household. In total, 433 fully structured face-to-face interviews (70% men and 30% women) were conducted by 20 local enumerators (14 male, 6 female, the latter primarily interviewing female respondents) between 10 and 28 June 2014 (see Appendix D in Supplementary material for more survey details). Women were slightly oversampled to reflect the standard (minimum) 30% target of reaching female beneficiaries by development projects (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2008).

Bottom Line: Theoretically, weather-index insurance is an effective risk reduction option for small-scale farmers in low income countries.Renewed policy and donor emphasis on bridging gender gaps in development also emphasizes the potential social safety net benefits that weather-index insurance could bring to women farmers who are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change risk and have low adaptive capacity.Our results reveal significant insurance aversion among female farmers, irrespective of the attributes of the insurance scheme.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, 469C Bukit Timah Road, 259772, Singapore; Social Sciences Division, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Laguna 4031, Philippines.

ABSTRACT

Theoretically, weather-index insurance is an effective risk reduction option for small-scale farmers in low income countries. Renewed policy and donor emphasis on bridging gender gaps in development also emphasizes the potential social safety net benefits that weather-index insurance could bring to women farmers who are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change risk and have low adaptive capacity. To date, no quantitative studies have experimentally explored weather-index insurance preferences through a gender lens, and little information exists regarding gender-specific preferences for (and constraints to) smallholder investment in agricultural weather-index insurance. This study responds to this gap, and advances the understanding of preference heterogeneity for weather-index insurance by analysing data collected from 433 male and female farmers living on a climate change vulnerable coastal island in Bangladesh, where an increasing number of farmers are adopting maize as a potentially remunerative, but high-risk cash crop. We implemented a choice experiment designed to investigate farmers' valuations for, and trade-offs among, the key attributes of a hypothetical maize crop weather-index insurance program that offered different options for bundling insurance with financial saving mechanisms. Our results reveal significant insurance aversion among female farmers, irrespective of the attributes of the insurance scheme. Heterogeneity in insurance choices could however not be explained by differences in men's and women's risk and time preferences, or agency in making agriculturally related decisions. Rather, gendered differences in farmers' level of trust in insurance institutions and financial literacy were the key factors driving the heterogeneous preferences observed between men and women. Efforts to fulfill gender equity mandates in climate-smart agricultural development programs that rely on weather-index insurance as a risk-abatement tool are therefore likely to require a strengthening of institutional credibility, while coupling such interventions with financial literacy programs for female farmers.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus