An update from Tamale
We are excited to share some results of the first year and information on current activities taking place in agricultural communities in northern Ghana. When Rob last wrote, the 2009 agricultural season was starting and IPA was getting ready to support farmers by offering rainfall insurance and grants of capital. During that season, 260 farmers were offered free rainfall insurance, and take up was 100%. 235 farmers received grants that were delivered to them throughout the farming season (and based on their own personal planting schedule) to assist with agricultural investments. Other farmers received free insurance plus capital injections.
Some preliminary results from the February 2010 follow-up survey indicate that farmers who received both insurance and capital spent 47% more on fertilizer. They also cultivated 23% more land and they increased the proportion of hired labor. Having both capital and insurance has impacted the farmers’ expenditures and savings as well. These individuals were 23% more likely to have electricity in the house than the control group, and 9% more likely to have a formal savings account.
The farmers who received rainfall insurance spent 11% more on fertilizer, and they cultivated 26.5% more land. Furthermore, farmers who received insurance missed fewer meals and sent their children to school more frequently.
During the most recent agricultural season, 729 farmers were offered rainfall insurance and, again, take-up was quite high at all insurance rates offered. 363 farmers received capital injections of GHC 350.00 each.
Under the rainfall insurance policy, one out of the five rainfall stations (Pong Tamale Rainfall Station) attracted a payout. The rainfall station recorded eight consecutive wet days from the 7th to the 14th of August 2010, so all farmers insured under this station will receive a payout of GHC 20.00 per acre. There are 125 farmers who had insured their farmlands under the Pong Tamale Rainfall Station, for a total of 785 acres insured.
Currently, we are conducting a series of focus groups to learn more about what specific technologies are the most useful for farmers and what barriers they face to adopting them. Our efforts to form partnerships with local insurance companies for eventual distribution and scaling of the insurance product continue, and we remain optimistic about the impact of rainfall insurance on farmers in the region.
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