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Regional impacts of rural credit and rural insurance policies on crop area and productivity: evidence from São Paulo state, Brazil (2008 and 2017)

Francisca Nathalia de Sousa Leite (Graduate Program in Economics, Federal University of São Carlos, Sorocaba, Brazil)
Eduardo Rodrigues de Castro (Department of Economics, Federal University of São João del Rei, São João del Rei, Brazil)
Henrique Ryosuke Tateishi (Research Program in Environmental Sciences, Institute of Energy and Environment, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)

Agricultural Finance Review

ISSN: 0002-1466

Article publication date: 29 December 2022

Issue publication date: 14 March 2023




Constrained input use and lower productivity of rural establishments may be associated with restricted or concentrated access to financial resources, especially in developing countries. Meanwhile, agricultural activity entails risks associated with the volatility of net cash flows and external events, which may discourage riskier but higher return investments (e.g. technology). As rural credit can alleviate the former, and rural insurance may help alleviate the latter, the combination of both policies might endorse each other. The purpose of this study is to analyze the use of rural credit and rural insurance policies with respect to productivity and crop area, in São Paulo state, Brazil, using farmer's microdata from two surveys realized in 2007/08 and 2016/17.


This study uses propensity score matching and the entropy balance approaches in a complementary way. This study compared three policy treatments – rural credit, rural insurance and both policies combined, against establishments that received neither one. The analysis considered sugarcane, grain and grape crops separately and employed farmer's microdata. Moreover, the analysis was stratified into two categories: establishments owned by family farmers and those that did not.


Rural credit policy is related to higher productivity and larger cultivated area for grains and only to larger area for grape crops in the last analyzed period (2016/17). Rural insurance, as a unique policy or combined with credit, is related to higher productivity and cultivated areas, for all analyzed crops, only in the second period (2016/17), as the policy became more accessible to farmers. Heterogeneity regarding crops and farmers might influence the effectiveness of these policies. Despite rural insurance being related to a better performance regarding the outcome variables, it still reaches a small share of farmers, especially when combined with credit.


Many studies about the effectiveness of rural credit in Brazil have been conducted throughout the years, while there have been fewer studies regarding rural insurance since it became an important policy in the mid-2000s. However, few studies have conducted an analysis comparing its individual and interactive influences, with such level of disaggregation, on a farm-level database, considering the heterogeneity of the data and the different categories of farmers.



This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001. It was also supported in part by a seed grant from the Climate Policy Initiative through the Land Use Initiative (INPUT Brazil). Special thanks to the Agricultural Economics Institute (IEA) from São Paulo state, which allowed us to access the LUPA data.


de Sousa Leite, F.N., Castro, E.R.d. and Tateishi, H.R. (2023), "Regional impacts of rural credit and rural insurance policies on crop area and productivity: evidence from São Paulo state, Brazil (2008 and 2017)", Agricultural Finance Review, Vol. 83 No. 2, pp. 352-374.



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