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Optimal rainfall insurance contracts for maize producers in Ghana’s Northern Region

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  • Muamba, Francis M.
  • Ulimwengu, John M.

Abstract

The risk of food insecurity due to climate change in developing countries has encouraged development partners to seek new approaches to improve the resilience of subsistence agriculture to covariate shocks. Such innovative approaches include investment in safety nets such as rainfall insurance. However, a policy question remains: How does one determine the practicality of rainfall insurance for a particular district? This paper attempts to fill this gap by assessing the viability of rainfall insurance contracts for agricultural production in Ghana’s Northern Region. Using a stop-loss framework, an optimal contract is determined by choosing its parameters by maximizing the objective function in the form of covariance between crop loss and indemnity payment, the objective function given a predetermined fair premium rate. The theoretical contract is implemented using monthly rainfall and annual maize crop yield data from 1998 to 2004 from 12 districts in the Northern Region under varying premium rates. We conclude that rainfall insurance may not be viable for all districts in the Northern Region; however, the contracts are likely to be viable in districts that exhibit a positive Pearson correlation coefficient between maize yield loss and indemnity payments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 1016.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1016

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Keywords: Climate change; maize yield; rainfall insurance;

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  1. Mario J. Miranda & Joseph W. Glauber, 1997. "Systemic Risk, Reinsurance, and the Failure of Crop Insurance Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(1), pages 206-215.
  2. Jerry R. Skees, 2008. "Challenges for use of index-based weather insurance in lower income countries," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 68(1), pages 197-217, September.
  3. Sommarat Chaniarat & Calum G. Turvey & Andrew G. Mude & Christopher B. Barrett, 2008. "Improving humanitarian response to slow-onset disasters using famine-indexed weather derivatives," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 68(1), pages 169-195, September.
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  5. Marcel Fafchamps & Chris Udry & Katherine Czukas, . "Drought and Saving in West Africa: Are Livestock a Buffer Stock?," Working Papers 97013, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  6. Barnett, Barry J. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Skees, Jerry R., 2008. "Poverty Traps and Index-Based Risk Transfer Products," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1766-1785, October.
  7. Kochar, Anjini, 1995. "Explaining Household Vulnerability to Idiosyncratic Income Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 159-64, May.
  8. Sommarat Chantarat & Christopher B. Barrett & Andrew G. Mude & Calum G. Turvey, 2007. "Using Weather Index Insurance to Improve Drought Response for Famine Prevention," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1262-1268.
  9. Mario J. Miranda & Claudio Gonzalez-Vega, 2010. "Systemic Risk, Index Insurance, and Optimal Management of Agricultural Loan Portfolios in Developing Countries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 399-406.
  10. Skees, Jerry & Hazell, P. B. R. & Miranda, Mario, 1999. "New approaches to crop yield insurance in developing countries:," EPTD discussion papers 55, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. Seo, S. Niggol & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2008. "A structural ricardian analysis of climate change impacts and adaptations in African agriculture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4603, The World Bank.
  12. Jerry R. Skees & Barry J. Barnett, 2006. "Enhancing microfinance using index-based risk-transfer products," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 66(2), pages 235-250, September.
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