Project overview

R4 is a rural resilience initiative which combines four risk-management elements to support smallholder farmers: risk retention, risk transfer, risk management and risk reduction (the 4 Rs).

The problem

Smallholder farmers are being significantly impacted by climate change, which is aggravating key structural challenges such as poor access to agricultural inputs, financial services, and assets.

Petros Malunnga working in his field in Blantyre, Malawi. Photo: WFP/Badre Bahaji
Petros Malunga working in his field in Blantyre, Malawi. Photo: WFP/Badre Bahaji


The solution

R4 aims to support smallholder farmers in becoming more resilient to climate risks through a combination of four integrated objectives: 

  • reducing the impact of climate shocks through nature-based solutions and improved agricultural practices, productive asset creation and climate information services; 
  • transferring the risk of potentially catastrophic climate events to the private insurance market; 
  • enabling better risk absorption of households and communities through the promotion of group savings and integration with social protection systems;
  • promoting prudent risk-taking through financial education, livelihood diversification, and easier access to credit to enable better investments.

Focus groups with farming cooperatives and local stakeholders in the Callavy region of Côte d’Ivoire revealed a strong demand for agricultural insurance to mitigate climate-induced losses and barriers to accessing credit and inputs. Farmers emphasized the lack of accessible insurance as a significant obstacle, sharing experiences of climatic challenges. 

In 2023, R4 launched an innovative weather-based drought index insurance scheme for 5,111 rice farmers in Côte d’Ivoire to provide financial protection against climate shocks, such as dry spells or excess rainfall. This scheme was launched in partnership with the consortium ‘Consortium d’Assurance pour le Développement de l’Assurance Agricole Indicielle en Côte d’Ivoire’ (DAAI-CI), initiated by African Risk Capacity (ARC), coordinated by Cabinet Africain de Solutions d’Assurances Inclusives (CASAI) and several participants from the public and private sectors.

This pilot programme in Côte d’Ivoire aims to integrate insurance into a support package for rice cooperatives and federations, enhancing their productivity and resilience. This approach acknowledges the benefits of insurance in improving farmers' access to financial services, boosting their productivity and access to markets.   

A Cocoa farmer holds cocao beans in San-Pedro, Côte d’Ivoire. Photo:WFP/Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon
A Cocoa farmer holds cocao beans in San-Pedro, Côte d’Ivoire. Photo:WFP/Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon


Reached 30,666 people in 2023
Reaching 30,666 people in 2023
Implemented in 16 countries
Implemented in 16 countries: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe
The way forward

R4’s approach is now expanding to a new crop, Cocoa, in Cote d'Ivoire. The Cocoa micro-insurance project is increasing the diversification of micro-insurance using area Yield Index Insurance for the Cocoa value chain.

R4 is aiming to support approximately 1.4 million households (7.5 million beneficiaries) with integrated climate risk management in 25 countries by 2025, with the added benefit of expanding access to these insurance products to a broader market beyond the R4 participant farmers.

Last updated: 15/03/2024