Bangladesh Microinsurance Market Development Project

The Phase I of BMMDP aims at improving farmers’ well-being, specifically smallholders, through enhanced agricultural productivity and resilience to natural disasters.

Smallholder farmers in Bangladesh are extremely vulnerable to weather related risks, the intensity of which increases because of climate change issues. Due to their limited savings and access to social protection and agriculture insurance, smallholder farmers often face catastrophic losses including damage to a season’s crop or livestock diseases. The overall insurance sector in Bangladesh is underdeveloped and the agriculture and disaster insurance mechanism is non-existent. Without access to insurance, smallholders’ only available strategy for reducing exposure to weather risks is to limit their investment in high-value inputs and diversifying into off-farm activities. Low investment in inputs and services means they cannot lose much in the event of a disaster. It also means that productivity and returns on their investment remain low. These “low investment - low returns” risk reduction strategies condemn smallholders to remain in poverty or lead a life perpetually on the brink.

dinajpur, Bangladesh
domar, bangladesh
Project duration
2017 - 2021
Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

The project

BMMDP will focus on piloting and testing different insurance products and distribution channels to identify and develop appropriate weather index-based crop insurance products and risk mitigation methods for agriculture sector (initially, crop and livestock sub-sectors) in Bangladesh. By the end of phase 1, approximately 233,000 farmers will use crop insurance (and associated extension and financial literacy training) covering 55,920 hectares of land across 10 districts, an estimated 700,000 livestock keepers will have access to improved veterinary and animal husbandry services, and 500,000 farmers will use livestock insurance. In total, at least 733,000 smallholders are expected to have increased their resilience and well-being due to the sustainable risk-reducing and insurance services.
  • With better access to crop and livestock insurance, smallholder farmers will have more income through increased productivity deriving from the higher quality crop inputs and livestock while their risks will be partially reduced by improved crop and livestock production practices and insurance risk transfer solutions.
  • For both male and female farmers, additional income and greater access to risk reduction (e.g. veterinarian services) and transfer mechanisms (i.e. insurance) will contribute to increased resilience against natural disasters and encourage greater investment in costlier high-quality crop inputs and livestock.


  • 5 weather index-based insurance (WII) products were designed/modified: late blight for potato, excess rainfall for boro rice, and deficit rainfall for aman rice.
  • 10,046 smallholder crop farmers were reached. 
  • 5,936 (60% women) WII policies were sold.
  • BDT 199,957 worth premium was collected covering 202.4 acre land under insurance.
  • 2 payouts triggered: 150 insured boro rice farmers and 675 insured aman rice farmers received claims worth BDT 181,161 for their losses.
  • 10 new entities are offering WII insurance products.
  • 5 districts under two divisions (Rajshahi, Rangpur) were covered for piloting the WII products.
  • 358 participants were trained through 7 aggregators’ staff training and 1 capacity development training for insurers and aggregators