FARM-D - Understanding Risks
A risk affecting agriculture is the possibility of occurrence of an event that has adverse effects on both individual farmers and the overall performance of the agricultural sector in a region or area. Reduction of the negative consequences of risks is often possible and always desirable. Farmers’ development plans should consider how to handle agricultural risks. The risk is characterized by the following elements:
- Probability: The likelihood that a natural or man-made event or hazard will manifest itself in a given geographical location and within a particular time period. Examples of likelihood of a risk: a low-probability (very rare) event, like an earthquake; a high-probability (frequent) event, like minor pests.
- Elements at risk: what is affected by the hazard. Examples of elements at risks are: harvests; human and animal health; farm income.
- Type of losses: expected losses from a hazard, such as: physical damages; economic losses; livestock losses; human deaths.
- Severity: the size of losses associated with occurrence of the event or hazard. Severity can have differing degrees, even for the same risk. Examples of severity: low-severity, like in a drought causing small losses to farmers using drought-resistant seeds; and high-severity, like in a drought causing large losses to farmers cultivating non-drought-resistant seed varieties.
- Cause–effect mechanism linking all the elements above.