Farmers have always faced multiple risks. Long-standing risks include variable weather and natural disasters, pest and disease outbreaks, conflict, and theft, among others. More recently such risks as price volatility, sanitary and phytosanitary risks, and increases in weather variability are of great concern.
This forum seeks to discuss tools for risk mitigation and risk transfer, particularly in relation to climate. Risk mitigation strategies prevent events from occurring, limit their occurrence, or reduce the severity of the resulting losses. Examples include pest and disease management strategies, crop diversification, and extension advice. Risk transfer strategies transfer risk to a willing third party, at a cost. Financial transfer mechanisms trigger compensation or reduce losses generated by a given risk; for green growth purposes, one of the primary tools used is weather insurance.
ICT is being used to improve risk mitigation and risk transfer. Weather stations that monitor microclimates allow public agencies and other entities to send localized and timely weather information to smallholder farmers through SMS messages. Early warning systems provide farmers with enough reaction time to take preventative measures. Sending other types of advisory information through cell phones is also a form of risk mitigation, supporting farmers’ ability to make swift and informed decisions on farm activities. Index-based weather insurance, which uses ICT tools such as weather stations and satellite imagery coupled with better predictive weather models and more reliable data, improves access to finance in the event of unpredictable events like floods and droughts.
We welcome and encourage you to share your experience, questions, and contributions on these topics.