Farmers in the village of Adi Ha in Tigray, Ethiopia have been offered insurance against the weather in order to reduce their risk from crop failures. Two hundred households are currently involved in the project, which is managed by Oxfam America. Each farmer contributes the equivalent of US$5 a year, and many use the money they receive as part of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Program, a cash-for-work programme, to pay for their crop insurance. "When farmers are allowed to pay in labour, they can afford a lot more insurance," said Marjorie Victor, senior policy adviser for Oxfam America, talking to the New York Times.
In Adi Ha, the teff crop fails roughly once every five years. Under the insurance scheme, each farmer will get up to US$25 if a pre-determined amount of rain needed to grow teff does not fall by a certain date. This money can then help to buy new seeds, preventing farmers going into dept and falling deeper into poverty. Next year, Oxfam plans to expand the project to cover at least one more crop and include another four villages.