Better designed weather-based insurance holds promise for Maharashtra farmers

When unexpected rains lashed India this April, city-dwellers welcomed the respite from the heat. But the mood was starkly different in the countryside. Farmers watched helplessly as crops died just before the harvest.

Rajesh Birsingh, 41, from Haryana, was in despair after three acres of ripened wheat stalks were flattened in the unseasonal downpours. “This is completely unexpected. About 40 percent of the harvest is gone. It is a huge loss to my earnings and I have debts to pay. Unless there is some compensation, I will face a lot of problems,” he said.

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Gates Foundation