GIIF in Pakistan: Offering Smart Agriculture Insurance Solutions to Climate Change and Disasters

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Pakistan is one of key countries in GIIF’s portfolio with big scale-up potential due to sizable farmer population. Agriculture sector contributes to 19% of GDP in Pakistan, employing 42% of labor force. Punjab is Pakistan’s most important agricultural province with 5.2 million mainly smallholder farmers, but the sector growth has been lagging for most part of the past three decades.

As part of “Strengthening Markets for Agriculture and Rural Transformation in Punjab” (SMART Punjab) project, GIIF has been providing insurance solutions to improve farmers’ resilience to climate change and natural disasters. Based on the feasibility study for agriculture insurance in the province in 2017, a large-scale area yield index-based crop insurance was developed and implemented from 2018 along with financial literacy education on Pakistani farmers to harness benefits of insurance to improve their livelihoods. Insurance to cover rice and cotton farmers in four districts was offered in 2018 Kharif season; in 2018/2019 Rabi season, the scheme was extended to all five districts in Punjab with more than 40,000 policies been issued. The 2019 Kharif season focused on scaling up which resulted in more than fivefold increase in the number of insurance contracts to approximately 227,000. By 2023, the program is expected to cover 3.5 million farmers under the scheme. GIIF will continue providing technical and operational support to help increase rural resilience and agriculture development.

Photo: Farmers in Punjab collecting cottons

Photo credit : Flore Martinant de Preneuf