Drought index insurance and the risk behavior of smallholder maize crop farmers in the northern region of Ghana
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- Institutt for geografi 
Smallholder farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana are at risk in crop production because of uncertainties in the rainfall patterns and amounts caused by changes in the climate. This study revealed that, smallholder farmers recognize drought as their major risk in crop production. Therefore, they have adopted risk management strategies to cope with their production risks. Furthermore, the risk management strategies smallholders adopt are also influenced by their risk attitudes. From this study, smallholder farmers showed a risk averse attitude as they portrayed a safety-first behavior. Their aim is to keep their families away from starvation. Thus, risks in crop production and the risk attitudes of smallholder farmers account for their risk behaviors which informs their risk management strategies. Since the year 2011, smallholders in Northern Ghana have been introduced to a novel agricultural insurance scheme known as the drought index insurance, serving as an additional risk management strategy. Before this time, 2011, there was no such thing as agricultural insurance for farmers in the whole of Ghana. Hence, how the drought index insurance product is designed for smallholder farmers can ultimately determine its success in the long term as a relevant risk management strategy, amid other existing strategies which farmers have employed over the years. From the results of this qualitative research, drought index insurance is designed and administered by the Ghana Agricultural Insurance Pool (GAIP), Ghana’s Premier Agro Insurer. The study revealed that, both customers and providers are encountering challenges. Nonetheless, while GAIP attempts to address challenges, it is also committed to making the insurance scheme for smallholder farmers economically sustainable in the long term.