Yield loss indication tool – Climate-related crop yield loss assessment for Tanzania by the statistical crop model IRMA




International, co-ordinated from Germany

August 2016

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)


Sustainable Land Use

Munich RE

Tanzanian smallholder farmers are highly vulnerable to climate-related crop yield losses, which could increase due to climate change. These yield losses inhibit the establishment of a resilient farming system and endanger food security. If yield losses could be assessed when they occur, this information could be used by index-based crop insurances to stabilize smallholder farmers’ income.

To reduce the production risk for farming, yield assessments are required, which provide information about the main yield impact factors. Based on this information, insurance solutions could be developed to insure smallholder farmers against extreme yield losses caused by climate change and altered weather patterns. Furthermore, these insurances could enable them to invest in (climate smart) production techniques, whose purchase is too risky without the insurance. The increase of yield stability may give the farmers higher creditworthiness and thus, access to micro-credits. This will enhance the ability of the farmers to adapt to changing climate and weather conditions.

PIK’s statistical crop simulation model IRMA (Interregional Regression Model for Agriculture) can estimate direct (e.g., water availability, evapotranspiration) and indirect (e.g., pests, diseases) weather effects on yield with farm yield data at the district level and also includes socio-economic yield impact factors. Agronomic management (fertilization and plant protection) can be also captured by the model. The model provides a relative yield index in percentage, which is easy to interpret without further information about the yield level and previous yields. The work with a re-insurance partner will permit a deeper and more accurate understanding of the specific needs on crop yield assessments for index insurance solutions.