Smallholder farmers’ willingness to pay for crop insurance among women and men in Kenya
Because of increased incidences of drought due to climate change, it is vital that both women and men farmers can manage production risks. Agricultural insurance has been widely promoted to cushion farmers against adverse weather events, yet its uptake remains low, even more so among women. We therefore elicited incentivized measures of willingness to pay (WTP) for various agricultural insurance bundles offered to smallholder farmers within seven counties in Kenya and analyzed how WTP for the various bundles differs between women and men, and how it correlates with the project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI). We find that WTP is highest when the insurance product makes payouts in respondents’ personal mobile money account, with significantly lower WTP when paid into their spouse’s account, or into their savings group’s (ROSCA) account. This is consistent with the finding that control over use of income and autonomy in decision-making are two of the main contributors to both men’s and women’s disempowerment. In conclusion, one of the ways to ensure that agricultural insurance supports women's empowerment is to ensure that insurance contracts purchased by women are registered under their names and payouts are subsequently paid to their accounts, so that they gain control over the use of income from insurance payouts.
A gender-responsive approach to designing agricultural risk management bundles
Smallholder farmers are exposed to various risks, and because of their large risk exposure, agricultural insurance premiums are often too expensive to be affordable to smallholder farmers. In our study context, for instance, commercially viable insurance premiums are so high that the average farmer would be willing to pay only about 8 percent of the premium. Reducing farmers’ risk exposure by incentivizing the adoption of risk-reducing practices and technologies, for instance through discounts to low-risk farmers, could offer a significant breakthrough in lowering insurance premiums. At the same time, in the presence of gender differences in existing cultivation practices, there is a chance that women farmers may find these practices and technologies more inaccessible or costly to afford than men, and in that case, incentivizing adoption of risk-reducing practices and technologies could disadvantage women more than men. We therefore quantify gender gaps by interviewing 462 men and 447 women farmers in the state of Odisha, India, on barriers to adopting risk-reducing technologies and cultivation practices. We find that women are more exposed to flood and post-harvest losses than men, and that they face more challenges hiring labor, increasing their labor costs. We conclude that in this context, gender-responsive insurance policies should promote access to and adoption of risk-reducing practices and technologies, that not only minimize exposure to floods and post-harvest losses but also are less labor intensive. The findings of this study will directly inform financial institutions involved in the implementation of an agricultural insurance scheme.
Strengthening climate resilience of women farmers through innovative extension approaches
There is growing evidence that lack of equal access to information on climate resilience strategies has contributed to sub-optimal adoption of climate-resilient agricultural practices, institutions and technologies. This study rolled out innovative videos of women-identified practices to women farmers through grassroots women’s groups (in India and Kenya) and through the national extension service (Uganda) to more than 35,000 farmers in Gujarat, India, Kenya and Uganda. Practices identified by women farmers through qualitative fieldwork included climate-smart pig and poultry management, integrated pest management, water harvesting, zai pits and conservation agriculture. The presentation will report on changes in awareness, knowledge and adoption, as well as in women’s empowerment in response to the intervention in Kenya and Uganda where the endline surveys were completed in early 2022. The findings are relevant to next users of video-based extension approaches, such as NGOs, the government and the private sector, that are interested in reaching, benefiting and empowerment women farmers.
Gender analysis in rice-based systems in Mali
Agriculture and livestock represent the main income-generating activities for women and youth in the rural areas of Mali. A United Nations report on the roles of women and youth in food security and sustainable development highlights Africa’s over-dependence on agriculture and allied sectors, and its resulting vulnerability to the impacts of climate variability. The report mentions yearly increasing of flooding, drought, pest and disease incidence in recent decades.
Based on the assumption that women and youth need information and access to new technologies for climate-smart agriculture, particularly in rice farming, this study analyzes the role of women and their access to resources on climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and climate information services (CIS) in Mali. It targets 800 respondents in 400 households (an equal number of husbands and wives were interviewed separately in each of the 400 households) in Segou, Niono, Sikasso, Baguineda, Diola, San and Selingue—the major rice-growing regions in the country. It is based on the understanding that women are underprivileged, hence they are likely to abandon rice production due to multiple climate-related challenges they face. This study will help to present the situation with clear findings.