Weather-risk hedging by farmers: An empirical study of willingness-to-pay in Rajasthan, India
Valeed A. Ansari
Purpose – Small farmers in developing countries have very little means of managing the weather-risk to their agricultural produce. Weather derivatives could provide a solution, but the demand for such instruments and the willingness to invest in them needs to be researched. The purpose of this paper is to assess weather-risk hedging by farmers, focusing on the willingness to pay in Rajasthan, India. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents results of a contingent valuation study done on the findings of a survey carried out in six villages in the state of Rajasthan. The survey was done on over 500 farmers after explaining the concept of weather derivatives and how they would work to help them hedge their weather-related yield risk. The survey included questions on factors, which could have a bearing on the farmers' willingness to pay, and a bidding game where responses were solicited to premiums in a hypothetical market. Probit and logit models are used to determine probabilities of “Yes” responses to various bids and the mean willingness-to-pay. Findings – The paper brings out a model, which uses nine independent variables affecting the probability of a farmer saying “Yes” to a price quoted to him for a weather derivative. Using the results from the probit and logit models, the farmers' mean willingness-to-pay is determined to be around 8.8 per cent of the maximum possible payout of a weather derivative contract. Originality/value – With weather derivatives being accepted as a means of risk management for agriculture in developing countries, the willingness-to-pay figures determined in this paper would provide an insight to the structuring and pricing of weather derivatives, especially in developing countries.
Agriculture, Derivatives markets, India, Risk assessment
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