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Bangladesh Microinsurance Market Development Project (BMMDP)

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.

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.


Expected results:

  • Farmers have access to qualified veterinarian and extension services.
  • Farmers are aware of the benefits of using crop and livestock insurance.
  • Commercially viable models for crop and livestock insurance are identified and tested.
  • The technical feasibility for macro level extreme flood insurance product is studied.
  • Insurance companies/MFIs adopt appropriate products and business models for crop and livestock insurance.
  • Banking and Financial Institutions Division (BFID), Insurance Development Regulatory Authority (IDRA), Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) and other public agencies are aware of the need for an enabling policy and regulatory framework for crop and livestock insurance.


  • Development of two weather index based crop insurance product (one for potato and one for boro rice);
  • Pilot was conducted to use the weather index based crop insurance product for potato;
  • 171 farmers were brought under potato insurance.

Project countries

  • Bangladesh

Project duration

2017 - 2021


  • SDC

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org