The Landscape of Crop and Livestock Insurance in India

Research Team: Khushboo Gupta (IFMR LEAD), Jithin Jose (IFMR LEAD), Suraj Nair (IFMR LEAD), John Mayne
LEAD Centre: IFMR LEAD
Focus Area: Financial Inclusion, Livelihoods
Project Geography: India
Partner: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Status: Ongoing

Background:

Information related to crop and livestock insurance in India is presently dispersed and deficient in nature. This study aims to describe the general state of the crop and live insurance sectors, identify the key players in the sector and their business models, and the challenges that hamper uptake of insurance among rural poor communities at a larger scale. Based on this landscape assessment, the study aims to provide recommendations to stakeholders.

Methodology

A combination of desk-based and qualitative research (personal and telephonic interviews) methods were used to inform the following key aspects of the study:

     a) Evolution of the micro-insurance sector in India and assessment of existing crop and livestock insurance schemes
     b) Analysis of the existing crop and livestock insurance companies offering products for the rural poor
     c) Analysis of insurance distribution channels / models
     d) Analysis of resilience building activities
     e) Assess perceptions and attitudes regarding agricultural insurance at the level of key supply-side and demand-side stakeholders

Key Findings

Crop and livestock insurance are extremely important risk management strategies. However, they are only one of several strategies that farmers in India employ in order to manage and mitigate risk. This study finds that there are clear gaps in terms of risks covered by crop and livestock insurance, in addition to there being a very fragmented landscape in terms of risk management services and products that are available to the farmer. In particular, livestock Insurance is not given adequate importance from a policy perspective, and this is a key barrier to the success of longer term risk management and resilience building strategies in agriculture. Ultimately, after over three decades of implementation, agri-insurance is largely sold as a credit-linked or stand-alone product; the future of the agri-insurance business depends on the ability of insurers to package their products in a manner that is far more appealing, impactful, and relevant to the daily struggles of the farmers.

Publications:
Project Brief: Landscape of Crop and Livestock Insurance in India