Introducing risk management tools to a large-scale agricultural development programme in Senegal
3ie evidence programme: Agricultural Insurance Evidence Programme
Author(s): Alice Bonou Fandohan, Markus Olapade, Leonard Wantchekon, Alessandra Garbero, Guy-Vanie Miakonkana, Ndiack Fall
Institutional affiliation(s): African School of Economics, Benin; International Fund for Agricultural Development, Italy; Travelers, Canada; University Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal
Grant-holding institution: African School of Economics
Main implementing agency: African School of Economics
Sex disaggregation: No
Gender analysis: No
Equity focus: Yes
Study type: Process evaluation
In 2015, the World Food Program (WFP) in conjunction with the Programme d’Appui au Développement Agricole et à l’Entreprenariat Rural (PADAER) integrated the index-based crop insurance into its support package to producers organisations (PO) in Senegal to better control the risks incurred on the main cereal crops due to climatic conditions. Since its creation, the service had been extended from 7 to 54 POs participation.
The WFP and PADAER integrated the index-based crop insurance into its support package to Producers Organizations. The index-based crop insurance products are designed to mitigate the consequences of natural disasters to secure farmers’ income and assets. The traditional service package includes seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, farming equipment, agricultural extension services and a financial weather role.
The index-based insurance is implemented in two phases: Phase 1 provides coverage of 80 per cent of the insured sum during the planting and growth period, which takes place from June 21 to July 31. Phase 2 provides coverage of 80 per cent of the insured sum during the flowering phase which takes place from September 11 to October 20.
There are twelve key steps of the index-based insurance implementation process, whereby several partner organizations are involved in the process.
To help farmers to pay the premiums and increase access, the government in Senegal subsidises it by 50 per cent. PADAER offers a tapering subsidy on the remaining amount of the premium. If the PO belongs to the first generation, PADAER offers 90 per cent. For second and third generation PO’s, PADAER offers 70 per cent and 50 per cent respectively. When a PO reaches the fourth generation, members are required to pay half of the premium themselves.
The study hypothesised that making the insurance product more relevant will increase demand and uptake.
Evaluation design and methodology
This was a mixed-methods study conducted in two regions of Senegal: Tambacounda and Kolda.
For the qualitative component, 119 semi-structured interviews were conducted with Producer Organisation leaders and general advisors.
The quantitative component included a survey of 1,441 producers (both insured and uninsured) to collect data at the member/farmer level to assess their characteristics and the context of insurance buyers and non-buyers. Two questionnaires were administered: one at household level, and one questionnaire administered to the PO leader. Propensity Score Matching was used to assess the take up of the insurance in the years 2015 and 2016, and its impact on farmers’ income of the respective cropping seasons.
The variables of interest include socio-economic characteristics, investment variables, income amount and sources, insurance take-up, and access to credit.
Primary evaluation questions
This study explores the feasibility and acceptability of the crop insurance implementation mechanism, to determine ways to improve this risk management tool. The study answers the following questions:
- How and when can farmers best raise the capital required for premium payments?
- Which distribution channels are best adapted to the context in terms of registering insured farmers and collecting insurance premiums?
- Does the availability of financial risk management tools affect the use of non-financial (agricultural) risk management practices such as income diversification or the use of resistant crop varieties?
- Do the insured farmers modify their behaviour (investment, activities, etc.)?
- What is the take-up during the last cropping year?
Payouts were delayed due to the process for compensating producers – the reinsurer had to validate the results of the campaign and indexes, which is a time-taking process. The second reason for the delay could be attributed to schedule delays with the partner organisation responsible for collecting rainfall data.
On participants’ perceptions of compensation sufficiency, a relatively small number of respondents felt the amount compensated was satisfactory. Additionally, some PO leaders did not understand how the amount compensated was computed. They found that when it comes to compensating the two communities, the compensation is higher in one than in the other. Therefore, the implementation model is not the same across the two regions, Tambacounda and Kolda.
The rate of insurance uptake was 40 per cent. Many variables explain the decision to take up this insurance. In-depth discussions with the leaders from the Producer Organisation revealed lack of awareness of the index-based insurance activity schedule, thus they were unlikely to subscribe to insurance for that year.
Authors conclude that there is a need to reinforce communications to make the characteristics of the index-based crop insurance product known to the producers. The team found it necessary to put an emphasis on training of transmission agents to better inform producers.
In addition, the research team found that it is necessary to comply with the activity schedule and adjust the subscription and compensation periods to meet producers' expectations. A later deadline will allow transmission agents to convey information effectively and give more time to Producer Organisations to subscribe. The authors recommend more research on the decision- making factors that make the Producer Organisations leave the PADAER's graduated subsidy system.
Lastly, the authors recommend redefining the sequence of the insurance period into two phases, to be continuous from seeding to harvest, and to reflect on the possibility of trying out harvest insurance.