The team of the PARM Secretariat held a capacity development workshop on February 25th in Rome, to train IFAD staff on agricultural risk management, in collaboration with the Weather Risk Management Facility.

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Governments and smallholder farmers have to take critical decisions everyday on how to best use their limited resources.

Farmers are vulnerable to a range of risks and shocks that can limit their livelihoods through lower productivity, reduced revenues or other sources of income. These risks can trap them into poverty due to their limited capacity to assess and prioritize risks, as well as poor access to risk management tools. The training introduced basic concepts of an holistic approach to agricultural risk management, and dwelt deeper into the role of agricultural insurance. By the end of the session, participants had an understanding of:

  • The overall landscape of agricultural risks
  • How to assess and prioritize risks based on their frequency and severity
  • Existing agricultural risk management tools
  • How insurance works, and more specifically on agricultural insurance: when to insure and not insure; its role in managing production risk; opportunities and challenges,
  • The role of insurance as a cross-cutting tool in programmes and strategies (e.g. on financial inclusion, value chain development, climate adaptation, resilience-building).
  • How to assess relevance and feasibility during programme design and implementation

The Weather Risk Management Facility (WRMF), an IFAD-WFP partnership working on insurance since 2008 facilitated the session with PARM. The interactive session featured formal training, games, and videos, and was attended by participants from diverse backgrounds, managing projects in Africa, Asia, Europe and Near East, and by technical specialists on issues ranging from gender to rural finance. They all demonstrated a strong interest in the concept of agricultural risk management, and on learning about ways to include it in their projects.