Greetings from Ghana’s Northern Region! The Examining Underinvestment in Agriculture team has been very busy since our last update in January. We have completed our brief harvest survey as well as a more comprehensive follow-up survey, and are now marketing a new, commercial insurance product on behalf of the Ghana Agricultural Insurance Programme. Starting with the most recent, here are some highlights from the project:
Currently, the country of Ghana is making an effort to develop the agricultural insurance sector through the Ghana Agricultural Insurance Programme. Based on IPA’s experience marketing insurance to farmers in the past, major stakeholders in the country have enlisted IPA to market a new, commercial insurance product to its sample of smallholder farmers in the Northern Region. The product, indexed to drought measurements as recorded at rain gauges operated by the Ghana Meteorological Agency, has been designed in stages with varying maize sensitivity in mind. Teams of IPA-trained marketers are currently educating 1,100 farmers about the new product, called “Sanzali”, the local word for drought, and collecting premiums from those farmers who wish to purchase coverage for their farms.
In February and March, IPA conducted a second, comprehensive follow-up survey with 1,360 households in order to help determine what effect the treatments have had on agricultural yields and profitability, as well as on farmers’ decision-making and socioeconomic well-being. Specifically, the survey included in-depth questionnaires on household members, education, health, waged labor, formal employment, plots, land tenure, seeds, chemical inputs, agricultural labor, harvest, crop sales and storage, livestock, fishing, agricultural processing, assets, expenditures, social networks, borrowing, lending, savings, other income, transfers, and consumption. Researchers are currently analyzing this data and will disseminate findings in the coming months.
In January 2010, IPA analyzed the results of the harvest survey mentioned in our last update. The harvest survey was meant to inform the project and other stakeholders of farmers’ understanding of last year’s insurance product, as well as to provide a clearer picture of the risks farmers face. While 97 percent of farmers indicated a desire to purchase rainfall insurance again next year, just 41 percent of those who received a payout under Takayua considered it sufficient to cover damages sustained, and 66 percent of farmers who received a payout reported that the payout came at a good time. Farmers reported the majority of damage was caused by excess rain, and mainly during the flowering period of growth. 82 percent of farmers were able to identify the reason they had received a payout, while 64 percent correctly identified their rain gauge without prompting.
In our next update, look for analysis on all of the above – including information on 2011 take-up rates for Sanzali, and on analysis of data collected about farmers through the follow-up survey!
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