Building climate resilience for India’s cotton farmers: insurance's role?

Webinar

India is the world's largest producer of cotton, but its position is increasingly threatened by climate change. This event saw participants discuss a recent study that explored cotton farmers’ vulnerabilities, perceptions and responses to climate and other shocks.

Online
Last updated 2 July 2024
Cotton farmers in a field.

Women working in a cotton field, India (Photo: SEWA) 

London Climate Action Week 2024

India is the world's largest producer of cotton – accounting for nearly a quarter of global production. However, its position as a critical player in the global textile supply chain is increasingly threatened by climate change. Heatwaves and periods of erratic rainfall are becoming more frequent and are lasting longer – posing a serious risk for a major sector of its economy.

Smallholder cotton farmers are particularly vulnerable to the climate crisis, putting millions of livelihoods at stake. Small-scale farmers urgently need protection from the already existing effects of climate change, as well as to enhance their ability to face future shocks. Crop insurance, which is currently not widely used, is a mechanism that could help manage the risks of an uncertain future, but many questions remain about its affordability and effectiveness in its current form.

This London Climate Action Week event discussed a recent study conducted by IIED with the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) and All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), supported by Primark, that explored cotton farmers’ vulnerabilities, perceptions and responses to climate and other shocks, as well as current and potential use of insurance.

This event aimed to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis for cotton farmers, and discussed resilience building mechanisms that make sense for farmers and businesses.

About the speakers

Reema Nanavaty, director, SEWA

Mihir Bhatt, director, AIDMI

Ayandev Saha, lead, climate risk insurance, K.M. Dastur & Company Limited

Vaishali Bahel, Sustainable Cotton Programme, Primark

Charlie Langdale, chair, climate risk and resilience, Howden Group and CEO, Humanity Insured

Alejandro Guarín, principal researcher, IIED (moderator)

Event coverage

You can watch a recording of the event below or on IIED's YouTube channel, where individual links to the start of each main session are also provided.

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