(represented by the Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh)
Bangladesh is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world. With approximately 40% of the population working in the agriculture sector (according to ILO), Bangladeshi farmers are highly susceptible to weather-related risks and frequently suffer catastrophic losses, such as the loss of a season's crops or cattle.
Climate resilient risk mitigation methods such as agriculture insurance are virtually non-existent in the country. According to Swiss Re reports, the overall insurance penetration rate in the country is below 0.5%.
The only accessible method for farmers to lessen susceptibility is to diversify their businesses and reduce their investment in high-value inputs. These risk-reduction tactics that promote "low investment - low returns" doom smallholders to perpetual poverty.
Swisscontact, through BMMDP (branded as Surokkha), collaborates with private sector partners to provide microinsurance services for agriculture and livestock with embedded extension services and aims to foster inclusive growth in the sector through resilience to climatic shocks. BMMDP facilitated the development of a climate-resilient agriculture extension service, which provides farmers with pre-recorded voice messages outlining their action points depending on the climatic condition for their location and for their crop. The program also developed the first of its kind 'Cattle Health Insurance' product, which allows farmers to submit a claim and get reimbursement for the expenses incurred for the treatment of insured cattle. This product uses cutting-edge 'machine learning’ technology for the identification of insured cattle through unique muzzle print detection.
Agriculture insurance offers a way to make up for yield loss brought on by climatic shocks. It has been modified as a market-driven approach that facilitates systemic transformation. Key market actor’s capacities are enhanced to be fully operational without any direct assistance from the government or donors. Innovations in insurance products are designed to address customers' priority risks. In addition to product innovations and provision of extension services, insurance products are bundled with high in demand products, such as credit or agricultural inputs. The bundling of products has been an effective strategy for faster adoption of the service. In addition, the collaboration between the major market players (Insurance companies and Microfinance organisations) significantly reduced the cost-of-service delivery and in turn made the microinsurance products more affordable.
as of December 2022: