Finance for farmers: insurance in Tanzania study, wins social impact award | Imperial News

Agriculture in Tanzania

A study that examines financial solutions to help farmers received a Financial Times Responsible Business Education Award.

The study, led by Dr Enrico Biffis, associate professor of actuarial finance and Dr Erik Chavez, a research fellow at Imperial College Business School, addresses the issues faced by farmers in Tanzania who lack access to affordable insurance to protect them from the effects of climate change, such as crop failures due to changing weather conditions.

Using machine learning to analyze data such as weather variables, soil characteristics and farming practices to determine what ideal crop yields look like, researchers have developed a set of criteria for evaluating performance. from a farm.

They worked with the World Bank and reinsurance company Munich Re, to create a product that combines loans and insurance to help protect smallholder farmers, many of whom lack access to basic financial services, which makes it difficult to manage unforeseen emergencies.

“Getting your hands dirty with real-world problems allows you to formulate research questions not otherwise present in academia.” Doctor Enrico Biffis Associate Professor of Actuarial Finance, Imperial College Business School

Reacting to the announcement of the award, Dr Biffis said: “I am delighted that our research has been recognized by the Financial Times for this prestigious award. “Getting your hands dirty with real-world problems allows you to formulate research questions not otherwise present in academia. Tackling big social issues requires a wide range of skills and ideas, and we’ve found that by working directly with market players and other experts, we’ve been able to find an effective solution to the issues facing farmers in this region.

The Financial Times Responsible Business Education Awards recognize academic research from leading business schools that demonstrates positive social impact. According to the FT’s criteria, this research should “address important societal issues” and show that “their findings lead to a change in policy or practice”.

This is the first time that Imperial College Business School has been recognized by the Financial Times for the social impact of its research. The agriculture project in Tanzania was one of a number of initiatives which, according to the FT, “combined intellectual originality, a focus on pressing social issues and efforts to engage organizations to bring about change”.

Professor Francisco Veloso, Dean of Imperial College Business School, said: “Congratulations to Enrico, Erik and their team on this fantastic achievement. This award reflects their tireless work in producing impactful research that truly drives positive societal change. This recognition by the Financial Times will help us continue our mission to produce world-class research that tackles the world’s most pressing challenges.

Laura Singleton

Laura Singleton

Communications Division


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