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Assessing and managing agricultural risks in developing countries

Risk and uncertainty are inherent to agriculture. The most common sources of risk are weather, climate, diseases, natural disasters, and market and environmental shocks. Other risks relate to logistics, infrastructure, public policy, the political situation and institutions. Some risks have become more severe in recent years due to climate change and the volatility of food prices.

Smallholder farmers’ livelihoods are especially vulnerable. They may have difficulty in assessing and managing risk, and fail to benefit from investment opportunities that could improve their farming businesses and strengthen household resilience.

Agricultural Risk Management (ARM) is an innovative approach for improving the resilience of vulnerable rural households, and leveraging finance and investment. ARM allows farmers and businesses to be pro-active and increases their capacity to assess, prepare for, absorb and adapt to risks.

The Platform for Agricultural Risk Management (PARM) works to make risk management an integral part of agricultural policy and investment planning.

PARM is a G20 initiative, coordinated by IFAD, and financed by a multi-donor partnership between the European Commission, the French Development Agency, the Italian Development Cooperation, IFAD and the German Cooperation.

The Platform promotes a rigorous and holistic methodology for assessing and managing agricultural risks in developing countries. It presents evidence on risks and provides ARM tools.

It also facilitates dialogue between governments and stakeholders to:

  • integrate ARM into policies and farm practices; and
  • boost investment in agriculture.

Launched in 2013, PARM focuses primarily on sub-Saharan Africa. It works in partnership with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, and its Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).



Related publications

Making agricultural and climate risk insurance gender inclusive: How to improve access to insurance for rural women

February 2020
IFAD’s technical assistance programme INSURED (Insurance for rural resilience and economic development) has been building knowledge about how to strengthen women producers’ access to climate risk insurance. 

INSURED - Insurance for rural resilience and economic development

January 2020

INSURED is a technical assistance programme working to strengthen agricultural insurance in IFAD’s portfolio.

PARM Annual Progress Report 2018

July 2019
Since 2013, PARM has collaborated with partners across eight sub-Saharan African countries in a joint process to make agricultural risk management (ARM) an integral part of policy planning. The process led to the implementation of a number of activities at the country, regional and global level including risk assessments, feasibility studies, capacity development training, knowledge sharing and policy dialogue. This report presents these outcomes and achievements from these activities for the year 2018 looking back to the commencement of the process.


Massimo Giovanola talks about agricultural risk management
Agricultural Risk Management: a new way of thinking - PARM