Hunger is the issue that we usually think about first when tackling poverty. These issues are deeply interlinked and have a lot to do with women and girls’ rights, income opportunities, health, climate change and, of course, education.
The end of hunger and poverty is possible when people have the necessary means and when solutions are community-led. When children receive education, they have the ability to build a better future for themselves and their communities. Understanding insurance systems, for example, can be the first step.
In this article, we focus on a specific Ghanaian study, to reiterate the important relationship between hunger, insurance schemes and education.
In 2010, Dr Robert Darko Osei and Dr Isaac Osei-Akoto (University of Ghana), as well as others, published a study: Examining Underinvestment in Agriculture: Measuring Returns to Capital and Insurance.
In this study, they found that, when weather insurance was offered to farmers with large subsidies on the premium, almost all farmers to whom it was offered took it up. Therefore, in Ghana, farmers who received cheap insurance were more likely to use fertilizer on their crops than those who had not received it, and they were better off, as a result. The study reported that, as a result, farmers were much more likely to go without having missed a meal.
Furthermore, the study reported dramatic investment responses and strong network effects amongst farmers.
Up until the 21st century Ghana suffered from chronic under-investment in agriculture and, similarly, as of 2015, five years after the study was published, there have been no major developments to agricultural insurances in Ghana. Such long-standing under-investment could become very costly to rural Ghana, especially due to the effects of climate change.
What does this mean and what does UppFutures have to do with this?
Education can empower people to understand insurance schemes better. Education gives people access to better quality employment and will, thus, create a demand for the protection of rural jobs through agriculture insurance.
Therefore, supporting projects that promote literacy will raise the confidence of workers when engaging with firms such as insurance companies. Supporting educational projects will increase the bargaining powers of agricultural workers and, thus, create a demand for better quality services and policies.
UppFutures’ projects focus on agri-centric communities in rural areas, such as Northern Ghana. We believe that education is not just intrinsically important but we also acknowledge the role that it plays in development as a whole. In this case, hunger can be reduced and food security increased through agricultural insurance and educational projects.
At UppFutures, we care about much more than just uniforms.