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.
A temporary “learning” subsidy for commercially sourced fertilizers could help to expand the reach of Kenya's subsidy programs while supporting the commercial markets that will sustain long-term adoption.
In Tanzania, an experimental game found that a hybrid microloan with a 20% individual collateral increased individual effort and repayment for group loans while reducing the number of farmers who choose to borrow.
In recent years, economists have evolved a theory of poverty traps in ways that have changed how we think about creating opportunity for those in desperate need, suggesting new directions that could indeed lead us to the global end of poverty.
New AMA Innovation Lab research in Uganda on a program focusing on smallholder women farmers finds that the adoption of improved cultivation methods with minimal up-front costs had big impacts on village-wide food security and resilience.
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.
A randomized controlled trial (RCT) in Burkina Faso showed that farmers who purchased insurance made significantly more investments for higher future income despite implementation challenges, adding evidence for the high potential of agricultural index insurance for development.