Although the microfinance sector in developing countries has seen an impressive development in recent years, many small-scale farmers in rural areas are still undersupplied with capital. One of the main reasons for this undercapitalization is the exposure to weather risks. Weather index insurance is assumed to bear high potential for accelerating agricultural lending. The index design hereby is of particular importance. The purpose of this paper is to estimate the influence of evapotranspiration and precipitation indices on the credit risk of farmers in Madagascar.
The authors base the analysis on a unique borrower data set provided by a commercial microfinance institution in Madagascar and weather data provided by CelsiusPro. In this context, evapotranspiration and precipitation indices both at aggregated bank level and at branch level are identified and their influence on credit risk of small-scale rice farmers is estimated.
The results show that the weather-related part of the credit risk of farmers can be better explained by an evapotranspiration then by a precipitation index. The precipitation index underestimates the weather influence on credit risk especially during the harvesting season. The results suggest a potential for weather index insurance which is based on an evapotranspiration index. The results are of similar importance for developed and developing countries.
The results suggest that, should insurance be considered as an appropriate risk management instrument for the farmers or the bank, weather index insurance has the potential to mitigate a certain part of the credit risk. The authors also find that the focus on precipitation-based index insurance products would underestimate the weather influence on credit risk. Furthermore, the results suggest that insurance products should be tailored to branches to be most effective.
To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that compares the explanatory values of evapotranspiration and precipitation indices in general and for the credit risk of small-scale farmers in particular.
von Negenborn, F., Weber, R. and Musshoff, O. (2018), "Explaining weather-related credit risk with evapotranspiration and precipitation indices", Agricultural Finance Review, Vol. 78 No. 2, pp. 246-261. https://doi.org/10.1108/AFR-07-2017-0058Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited