Developing Climate Risk Insurance for the most vulnerable in Cape Verde

Marina Moroli
Rural & Agricultural Development Associate

Climate change is a threat to sustainable and inclusive rural development as climate hazards put small farmers’ agricultural production, sources of income, well-being and solvency at risk. Developing the farm insurance market is today a national priority for many developing countries. Marina has been currently involved in the design of a regional climate risk insurance program for West Africa, a program being developed by IFAD as a funding proposal eligible under the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which is the newest actor in the multilateral climate finance architecture and is the main operating entity under the Financial Mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Marina’s contribution to the regional program was the elaboration of the preliminary design to introduce and develop the agricultural insurance in Cape Verde, a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) populated by more than 500,000 people and particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The purpose of consultancy was to provide an overview of the agricultural insurance market in Cape Verde, to define the needs, and to draw up a proposal. Marina has outlined a proposal affecting 60,860 people and having as area of intervention 7 of the 10 main volcanic islands that make up the archipelago.

First of all, the work has consisted in taking stock of climatic trends, future scenarios and implications for the agricultural sector in Cape Verde. Secondly, it was a question of identifying the country needs at the macro level (national and regional), the meso level (producer organizations, agribusiness structures) and the micro level (producers). The third important aspect was outlining the most suitable insurance tools to increase the resilience of smallholder farmers facing the impacts of climate change.

Through her work, Marina brought a contribution to the development of the larger program of regional scale for West Africa by proposing the index-based insurance as the most suitable solution for Cape Verde. The review included among other: an inquire into actions taken towards establishing agricultural insurance schemes; a mapping of the vulnerability to climate change of smallholder farmers; an appraisal of the already existing risks transfers or that may be necessary in the future to cope with climate change; and, an assessment of the capacity of the agricultural projects in progress to adopt insurance instruments.