Decision support for climate risk preparedness – towards gender-responsive crop insurance in West Africa (GRIN)

The savannah region in Nigeria and Ghana are critical to domestic food production, yet also susceptible to drought. Smallholder farmers tend to adopt ‘low-risk, low return’ strategies which favour low yields and keep households locked in poverty. Weather index-based insurance offers the potential to encourage higher incomes yet is limited by availability of detailed information to inform farmer choice and payout options. This project proposes to work across several communities to collect data on household exposure to, and attitudes towards, the climate risks of drought and crop failure, as well as farm-level decision making and the potential for crop insurance. Detailed weather will be analyzed to refine the design of insurance products including payment thresholds and amounts. The project team will work with stakeholders—communities, meteorological offices, and private sector actors—to explore the factors influencing uptake of insurance. The project will examine the gendered vulnerability of smallholder farmers and analyse preferences for weather and climate forecasts, in order to pilot gender-responsive crop insurance and enhance its uptake bundled with weather information. The project will be undertaken by the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) based in Ghana working in collaboration with the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) based in Nigeria. This project is part of the Climate Adaptation and Resilience initiative (CLARE) co-funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and IDRC. CLARE aims to enable inclusive and sustainable action to build resilience to climate change and natural hazards for people across Africa and Asia-Pacific.

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