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 study on a hypothetical area yield index insurance contract in Ecuador found that for most farmers in the sample, the area yield index insurance would have performed equally well or much better at the same dollar-for-dollar cost compared to the existing conventional insurance contract.
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.
This brief examines the parallel but currently separate efforts by the public and private sectors and demonstrate how combining efforts could lead to important synergies and advantages for both sectors.