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In Spain: Evaluation of Agricultural Risk Management Systems

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I am a fourth-year student of the Agribusiness Management Department. I am in Madrid, Spain, specifically at the Center for Studies and Research in the Management of Agricultural and Environmental Risks (CEIGRAM). This is a joint research center and is part of the School of Agricultural Engineers of the Polytechnic University of Madrid. It was created in 2007 under a collaboration agreement of the State Agency for Agricultural Insurance (ENESA), AGROMUTUA-MAVDA (a private insurance company in the agricultural sector) and the Polytechnic University of Madrid. CEIGRAM has been working hard to develop new techniques and methods of insurance; work areas include climate, environmental and production risks.

During the first months of the internship I was integrated into a United Nations IFAD Project, which CEIGRAM and the Polytechnic University of Madrid has in seven countries in Africa assessing risk management systems for agriculture. Information systems have been identified as the main factor limiting the development of tools for agricultural risk management in several African countries.

Information systems are powerful tools for agricultural risk management. They are also important for developing other risk management tools such as insurance, contracts, warehouse receipts and early warning systems that facilitate preparation and proactive actions. I have participated in courses that taught ARC-GIS 10.1 at the Faculty of Agronomists of the Polytechnic University of Madrid. I have also participated in seminars on topics such as online portfolio risk assessment conducted by the World Bank, and introduction to decision and risk analysis using @RISK and The Decision Tools Suite taught by the Palisade Corporation.

Currently I am working in a special graduation project to design an agricultural insurance model based on climate for coffee cultivation in the area of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. This work is being done in collaboration with Dr. Wolfgang Pejuán, professor of the Agribusiness Management Department at ZAMORANO, and Dr. Alberto Garrido, Professor of Agricultural Economics at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

It is interesting to know how agriculture is developed in other countries and professional practices give us the opportunity to see it up close. It is a pleasant experience because ZAMORANO, being an institution recognized internationally, opens doors for us as professionals.

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