Small-scale farmers often don't adopt technologies that build resilience, like stress-tolerant seeds and index insurance, because they don't provide benefits in every year. New research shows how to maximize learning with these technologies to quickly build lasting adoption and long-term resilience in rural communities.
This report summarizes the impacts of a 2014-2019 RCT spanning Mozambique and Tanzania in partnership with CIMMYT to test the impacts of bundling an innovative type of insurance with drought-tolerant maize to expand drought protection for small-scale farming families.
Pairing drought-tolerant maize (DTM) and index insurance generated resilience in two ways. DTM effectively maintained yields during mid-season droughts. After severe droughts, DTM bundled with insurance helped farmers recover from their losses and return production to even higher levels than in the year before the drought.
The AMA Innovation Lab is leading a pilot in Tanzania that bundles drought-tolerant maize with index insurance for seed replacement. Adoption rates and the effective triggering and distribution of in-kind payouts suggest this bundled approach could be successfully scaled more broadly.
With new drought tolerant (DT) maize varieties ready to go to market, and with our growing knowledge of how to design effective insurance products for small-scale agriculture, now is an opportune moment to close this critical knowledge gap.