From the Editors,
We are delighted to announce IFAD, our CABFIN partner, publication on “Weather Index-based Insurance in Agricultural Development”. Rural poor people in developing countries are vulnerable to a range of risks and constraints that impede their socio-economic development. Weather risk, in particular, is pervasive in agriculture. This technical guide discusses WII, a class of insurance products that can allow weather-related risk to be insured in developing countries where traditional agricultural insurance may not always be feasible. The guide shows how insurance operates best where it forms part of an integrated approach to risk management, where constraints such as lack of access to finance, improved seed inputs and markets can be addressed. Also, this technical guide translates the findings and experience to date into practical decision-making steps for country programme management staff and other donors interested in promoting this risk mitigation tool. It looks at each phase of the process: from the first step of assessing whether WII is the right method of intervention and is feasible, through developing a pilot, to possible future areas that donors can support through scaling up. The guide includes background information, explanations and resource recommendations to help inform decision-making.
Second publication that we would like to highlight is “Unleashing Agricultural Development in Nigeria through Value Chain Financing”. This report looks at the needs for finance in various agricultural value chains in the country and opportunities for how banks can react to these, laying out new and innovative methods to increase lending to the agriculture sector. The findings presented in this report are based on a study of selected agricultural product value chains in Nigeria, such as: cassava, cotton, fisheries, maize, fruits, palm oil, poultry, rice, soybean, and tomato. The report provides a detailed analysis of each value chain, qualified information on financing requirements for each segment of the value chains, and identifies opportunities to finance operations along the chain. It further provides actionable recommendations for improving productivity, income and growth in the key value chains through financing and technical assistance.
Finally, we are glad to announce and to invite interested readers to submit a proposal to present at Cracking the Nut Conference 2012. The conference focus is on leveraging public private partnerships to develop rural and agricultural markets and to help identify investment opportunities at all points along dynamic rural and agricultural value chains. The conference will share competitively selected best practices through five focused thematic areas: expand to new markets; tap new sources of supply; create effective partnerships; make finance work and leverage positive government support. Proposals must be written in English, Spanish or French and application deadline is March 7, 2012. For further information, click here.
With best regards,
The RFLC editorial team