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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2013

Saqib Khan, Morina Rennie and Sylvain Charlebois

The purpose of this research is to study the weather risk management practices of agriculture producers. In particular, the authors look at the extent to which farmers use…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to study the weather risk management practices of agriculture producers. In particular, the authors look at the extent to which farmers use weather derivatives to complement insurance. Unlike insurance, weather derivatives mitigate risk associated with low intensity, high probability events and therefore offer the potential of a more complete hedge than insurance alone.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a survey of grain farmers in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, a typical jurisdiction in which farmers tend to face weather events that are high in frequency but low in severity, to study the usage of weather derivatives compared to insurance and identify the hurdles to their usage.

Findings

The authors find that fewer than 10 percent of their respondents use weather derivatives. Consistent with previous literature in other contexts, they identify participation costs, especially lack of awareness, to be the most significant hurdle to their usage.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study is that the data were collected using a survey methodology and are therefore subject to the usual risks of bias associated with that approach. Moreover, because the authors' survey was delivered online, it may have favoured the participation of farmers that were more comfortable with technology and some bias may have also been introduced into the data as a result.

Practical implications

The authors' findings suggest that there is significant potential to improve farmers' ability to hedge weather risk and thereby improve economic outcomes if the major barriers to the usage of weather derivatives can be overcome. The study paves the way for further research to support the development of public policy strategies that could help farmers take advantage of weather derivatives as part of their inventory of risk management tools.

Originality/value

To the authors' knowledge this is the first study that quantifies the usage of weather derivatives by agriculture producers and identifies the hurdles.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 73 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2019

Pankaj Singh and Gaurav Agrawal

The purpose of this paper is to review research on weather index insurance (WII) for mitigating the weather risk in agriculture and to identify research gaps in current…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review research on weather index insurance (WII) for mitigating the weather risk in agriculture and to identify research gaps in current available literature through integrative review.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on the integrative review method as proposed by Whittemore and Knafl. QualSysts tool was adopted for assessing the quality appraisal of articles. Reporting followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.

Findings

Detailed critical analysis of content reveals that WII studies are growing and shifting from traditional to the newest themes. Efficacy of WII is significantly influenced by the impacts of climate change. This paper generates a conceptual framework by synthesizing the published literature on WII.

Research limitations/implications

This paper will be used to improve the WII practices and influence public policy. It is also beneficial in research by contributing to the systematic body of knowledge and useful for researchers to analyze the past and present status with future prospects of further studies on WII.

Originality/value

The paper is the original work of the author. To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first paper on integrative review on the efficacy of WII. An attempt has been made in the current paper to critically examine the studies of WII.

Details

International Journal of Ethics and Systems, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9369

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Freya von Negenborn, Ron Weber and Oliver Musshoff

Although the microfinance sector in developing countries has seen an impressive development in recent years, many small-scale farmers in rural areas are still…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 78 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2010

Calum G. Turvey and Rong Kong

The purpose of this paper is to investigate weather risks facing Chinese farmers, and to determine whether farmers would have a preference for weather insurance over other…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate weather risks facing Chinese farmers, and to determine whether farmers would have a preference for weather insurance over other types of agricultural insurance.

Design/methodology/approach

The data are based on 1,564 farm households surveyed in Shaanxi, Henan, and Gansu provinces in Central China between October 2007 and 2008.

Findings

Results suggest that the greater risk for farmers is drought followed by excessive rain. Heat is less critical as a risk but more significant than cool weather. Results suggest a strong interest in precipitation insurance with 50 and 44 percent of respondents indicating strong interest in the product. Supplementary results indicate that interest is equal between planting, cultivating, and harvesting. Furthermore, results suggest that farmers are willing to adopt new ideas, and where possible action has already been taken to self‐insure through diversification and other means.

Research limitations/implications

This research is based on primary data gathered in China. However, the authors are limited in the access to Chinese weather station data to illustrate how weather insurance operates. Instead, the authors use weather data from the weather station in Ashland, Kansas which has similarities to the wheat growing regions of China. While the example is for illustrative purposes only, the authors cannot claim that it actually represents premiums that might actually be found in China.

Practical implications

The Chinese Government has within the past year authorized an investigation into agricultural insurance. The burst of research and applications of weather insurance in both developed and developing countries suggest that a wide array of applications could be feasible in China. The results are encouraging because they suggest that farmers in China would have an interest in purchasing weather insurance.

Originality/value

The authors believe that this is the first study conducted on weather insurance in China. The survey instrument is designed to specifically determine what weather risks are important to Chinese farmers and the interest that farmers would have in using such a product.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Davide Castellani and Laura Viganò

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role that weather shocks can play in the livestock mortality microinsurance take-up when the insured risk has a prevalent…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role that weather shocks can play in the livestock mortality microinsurance take-up when the insured risk has a prevalent covariant component.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample consists of 360 rural Ethiopian households. Data were collected in a panel-structure at the end of three agricultural seasons (2011-2013). In the questionnaire, a specific section on insurance was meant to collect information on the farmer’s willingness-to-pay (WTP) for a set of insurance products, including livestock mortality insurance. Two OLS regression models and a quantile regression model were employed to estimate the impact of weather anomalies on the WTP for the insurance product.

Findings

The authors find that weather anomalies contribute to changes in the WTP to a large extent. Negative (positive) changes in precipitation (temperature) anomalies can lead to more than a 30 percent reduction in the WTP. This general finding is complemented with the analysis of the conditional distribution of the WTP, which shows that other elements can prevail for low values of the conditional distribution. In this case, the WTP seems to be represented more by the interviewee’s age and basic knowledge of insurance, and village fixed-effects. Basic knowledge of insurance, in particular, can increase WTP by about 60 percent.

Practical implications

This paper has straightforward implications from a policy perspective. It suggests that farmers would prefer an insurance premium that follows the changes in the systemic component. On the contrary, insurance as well as reinsurance companies are usually reluctant to frequently revise their premiums. Financial education programs, farmer-driven design, trust building, and bundling insurance with other financial and non-financial products can increase the value proposition perceived by the farmers. From a marketing perspective, the overall findings suggest that continuous fine-tuning of the contract, transparency, and targeted information campaigns can contribute to increase and stabilize potential customers’ WTP.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first paper that considers the impact of weather shocks on the WTP for a livestock mortality insurance product. Livestock is one of the most strategic assets of poor rural households in Africa. This study contributes to the theoretical and empirical literature on the determinants of weather insurance take-up in developing countries and, in particular, the role of spatiotemporal adverse selection and basis risk (e.g. Jensen et al., 2016).

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Ron Weber, Wilm Fecke, Imke Moeller and Oliver Musshoff

Using cotton yield, and rainfall data from Tajikistan, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the magnitude of weather induced revenue losses in cotton production…

Abstract

Purpose

Using cotton yield, and rainfall data from Tajikistan, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the magnitude of weather induced revenue losses in cotton production. Hereby the authors look at different risk aggregation levels across political regions (meso-level). The authors then design weather index insurance products able to compensate revenue losses identified and analyze their risk reduction potential.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors design different weather insurance products based on put-options on a cumulated precipitation index. The insurance products are modeled for different inter-regional and intra-regional risk aggregation and risk coverage scenarios. In this attempt the authors deal with the common problem of developing countries in which yield data is often only available on an aggregate level, and weather data is only accessible for a low number of weather stations.

Findings

The authors find that it is feasible to design index-based weather insurance products on the meso-level with a considerable risk reduction potential against weather-induced revenue losses in cotton production. Furthermore, the authors find that risk reduction potential increases on the national level the more subregions are considered for the insurance product design. Moreover, risk reduction potential increases if the index insurance product applied is designed to compensate extreme weather events.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that index-based weather insurance products bear a large risk mitigation potential on an aggregate level. Hence, meso-level insurance should be recognized by institutions with a regional exposure to cost-related weather risks as part of their risk-management strategy.

Originality/value

The authors are the first to investigate the potential of weather index insurance for different risk aggregation levels in developing countries.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 75 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Leif Erec Heimfarth and Oliver Musshoff

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the extent to which weather index‐based insurances can contribute to reducing shortfall risks of revenues of a representative…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the extent to which weather index‐based insurances can contribute to reducing shortfall risks of revenues of a representative average farm that produces corn or wheat in the North China Plain (NCP). The geographical basis risk is quantified to analyze the spatial dependency of weather patterns between established weather stations in the area and locations where the local weather patterns are unknown.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are based on the Statistical Yearbook of China and the Chinese Meteorological Administration. Methods of insurance valuation are burn analysis and index value simulation. Risk reduction is measured non‐parametrically and parametrically by the change of the standard deviation and the value at risk of revenues. The geographical basis risk is quantified by setting up a decorrelation function.

Findings

Results suggest significant differences in the potential risk reduction between corn and wheat when using insurance based on a precipitation index. The spatial analysis suggests a potential to expand the insurance around a reference weather station up to community level.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are limited by a weak database in China and, in particular, by the unavailability of individual farm data. Moreover, the low density of weather stations currently limits the examination of the approach in a broader context.

Practical implications

The risk reduction potential of the proposed insurance is encouraging. From a policy point of view, the approach used here can support the adjustment of insurers towards different crops.

Originality/value

This paper is believed to be the first that investigates a weather index‐based insurance designed for an average farm in the NCP and the quantification of geographical basis risk.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 71 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2014

Martin Odening and Zhiwei Shen

– The purpose of this paper is to review some challenges of insuring weather risk in agriculture and to discuss potential remedies for these problems.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review some challenges of insuring weather risk in agriculture and to discuss potential remedies for these problems.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is developed as a narrative on weather insurance based largely on existing literature.

Findings

Weather risks show characteristics that often violate classical requirements for insurability. First, some weather risks, particularly slowly emerging weather perils like drought, are spatially correlated and cause systemic risks. Second, climatic change may increase the volatility of weather variables and lead to non-stationary loss distributions, which causes difficulties in actuarial ratemaking. Third, limited availability of yield and weather data hinders the estimation of reliable loss distributions.

Practical implications

Some of the approaches discussed in this review, such as time diversification, local test procedures and the augmentation of observational data by expert knowledge, can be useful for crop insurance companies to improve their risk management and product design.

Originality/value

This study provides background and development information regarding weather insurance and also presents statistical tools and actuarial methods that support the assessment of weather risks as well as the design of weather and yield insurance products.

Details

Agricultural Finance Review, vol. 74 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-1466

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2007

Anil K. Sharma and Ashutosh Vashishtha

This article aims to examine the state of risk management in agriculture and power sector of India, evaluate the effectiveness of weather derivatives as alternative risk

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to examine the state of risk management in agriculture and power sector of India, evaluate the effectiveness of weather derivatives as alternative risk management tools and basic framework required to implement them.

Design/methodology/approach

Applications of traditional risk‐hedging tools and techniques in Indian agricultural and power sectors have proved to be costly, inadequate, and more importantly, a drag on the country's fiscal system. Mostly they offer a hedge against only the price risk. The volume related risk, which is rather more serious and highly weather‐dependent, remains practically unhedged. This study has used existing literature and empirical evidences for analyzing the various issues related to risk management in agriculture and power sector. Traditional derivative strategies have been used to construct weather derivatives contracts with different underlying weather indices.

Findings

The article suggests that how an appropriate weather‐based derivative contract system may be a more flexible, economical and sustainable way of managing the volume‐related weather risk in an economy, like India, having predominant agricultural and power sectors.

Originality/value

The article will be of value to all those who have some stakes in agricultural and power sectors of an economy and would like to mange the volume related risk in these sectors.

Details

The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2009

Charles C. Yang, Patrick L. Brockett and Min‐Ming Wen

The purpose of this paper is to examine empirically the basis risk and hedging efficiency of temperature‐indexed standardized weather derivatives in hedging weather risks

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine empirically the basis risk and hedging efficiency of temperature‐indexed standardized weather derivatives in hedging weather risks in the US energy industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Within the risk minimization framework, using power load and temperature data, this research analyzes both linear and nonlinear hedging strategies using the two most popular types of standardized indexes – city indexes and regional indexes.

Findings

The results indicate that the city indexes and regional indexes are not consistently superior to each other and the regional indexes should be a good complement to the current exchange‐listed indexes. The results also document that the basis risk is sufficiently low for the diversified power producers serving the US Northeast or Mid‐Atlantic regions in both the summer and winter seasons and California in the summer season. However, the basis risk is very high for the diversified power producers serving California in hedging the weather risk in the winter season. More discrepancies are observed in the hedging efficiency among the power producers serving the Texas region.

Originality/value

This research provides important implications about the survivability and superiority of current and proposed standardized weather contracts and the design of effective standardized weather derivatives for the extant and potential weather markets.

Details

The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

Keywords

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