Assessing the Challenges in Successful Implementation and Adoption of Crop Insurance in Thailand
The purpose of this paper is to assess the gaps in the adoption of crop insurance in Thailand and suggest possible solutions relating to policy support and framework, implementation mechanisms, technology adoption, and awareness amongst farmers. The methodology includes a literature review, interaction with ofﬁcials, rice experts and insurance experts, and discussion with farmers. A study was undertaken at province level to assess the impact of using rainfall index as a threshold. Additionally, focused group discussions (FGD) were conducted with rice farmers at the village level. Key issues targeted in the FGD were to understand the behavior and practices during droughts, impact of drought on crop yield, methods already in use to reduce the impact, such as plantation of drought-resistant rice, and the adoption of crop insurance. Data availability is a challenge and has led to withdrawal of Weather Index Insurance (WII) in 2015. WII have threshold levels based on historical rainfall. Adoption of coping mechanisms, such as drought-resistant rice and irrigation increases the chances of adverse selection. In absence of ground based weather data, a combination of satellite agriculture drought information can be used to make crop insurance more attractive as it would help in reducing basis risk and improving insurers and farmers’ conﬁdence in the product.
Discussion with farmers,insurance companies, and the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) in Thailand suggested low awareness among farmers about the potential beneﬁts of weather index insurance products. Relatively low compensation is also an obstacle. Proper marketing and awareness raising campaigns should also accompany the introduction of index-based insurance products.