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The Weather Risk Management Facility (WRMF) is a joint United Nations partnership established in 2008 between IFAD and the World Food Programme (WFP). It supports initiatives aimed at reducing smallholders' vulnerability to weather and other agricultural production risks, in order to encourage and protect investments in smallholder agricultural production and contribute to food security.

The WRMF does so through research, technical assistance and capacity building, and implementation of innovative risk management solutions, particularly agricultural index insurance.

It comprises specialists from IFAD's Inclusive Rural Financial Services team and WFP's Climate Resilience for Food Security team, as well as international experts with a wide experience in agricultural insurance and risk management.

Since its creation, with funding support from Agence Francaise de Développement and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WRMF has gained experience in multiple areas of index insurance, including:

  • Design and implementation of weather index insurance (WII) pilots in China and Ethiopia
  • Global research and key lessons for reaching scale and sustainability, and roles of public and private partners
  • Technical advice and capacity-building of projects, partners and staff
  • Researching and testing of innovative remote sensing approaches to index insurance.

Related publications

INSURED - Insurance for rural resilience and economic development

October 2019

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

Remote sensing for index insurance - Findings and lessons learned for smallholder agriculture

October 2017
Index insurance has a role to play in agricultural development and risk management, yet it faces operational and technical challenges to reach scale and sustainability. Data are a key challenge and were the focus of the project “Improving Agricultural Risk Management in Sub-Saharan Africa: Remote Sensing for Index Insurance”. Limited availability, accessibility, quantity and poor quality of data on the ground are some of the primary technical constraints preventing scale-up and sustainability of index insurance. Without sufficient quality data, either it is impossible to design products for some areas and countries, or products that are designed can become unreliable, not compensating when they should. These inconsistencies intensify vulnerability, lead to distrust of insurance, and ultimately have an impact on demand. This publication details the project, which investigated overcoming issues with ground data by using remote sensing data for index insurance. It describes the different remote sensing options and opportunities available for index insurance, but it also recommends further investment in research and development, supplementary ground data and capacity-building going forward. 

Creating pathways out of poverty in rural areas: Managing weather risk with index insurance

August 2015
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have joined forces to reduce the vulnerability of poor rural people to extreme weather events that can be devastating to agricultural productivity. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, IFAD and WFP are working to improve the access of poor rural people in developing countries to index-based weather insurance. This type of insurance can help them cope better when extreme weather hits, and can open the door to other financial services, in particular credit.