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What drives interest and willingness to use Weather Index Insurance in small farming communities? A comparison across the agro-climatic zones in Jamaica.

Authors: Lance Scott*, University of the West Indies - Mona - Kingston 7
Topics: Applied Geography, Economic Geography, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: weather index insurance, Caribbean, SIDS, change, agriculture, rural, farmers
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Climate risk insurance situates within the broader framework of disaster risk reduction strategies and aids in the efforts to increase social resilience by providing a safety net and contributes to adaption to climate change. It contributes to resilience building across productive sectors, such as the agricultural sector which is foreseen to be adversely affected due to the high risk associated with the projected increase in intense rainfall events, and changes in the spatial pattern of rainfall. Considering the multidimensional impact climate extremes and disasters pose to the agricultural sector, particularly to rural farmers, climate risk insurance acts as an instrument to increase resilience among them. This paper utilizes the perceptions and experience of 261 farmers across two distinct agro-climatic zones in Jamaica to examine interest in and willingness to use Weather Index Insurance (WII). A census data collection approach was utilized and logistic regression techniques were used to determine the socio-demographic, agronomic, psychological and behavioral factors influencing interest in and willingness to use WII. The results highlight no mutual factors common across the two locations that influenced farmer’s interest to use WII. However, farmer’s status and percentage of postharvest loss played a significant role for farmer’s willingness to use WII. Priority should be given to building resilience among rural farmers through policy targeting climate extremes and disasters which adversely impact them. One way for this to be achieved is through well-designed WII schemes which consider agro-climatic zones. These results have implications for the design and uptake of climate insurance products.

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