Morocco is a drought-prone, climate-constrained country that has made significant investments in agriculture with the goal of enhancing the adoption of higher-value cropping systems for economic development. The Moroccan government currently offers a multi-peril insurance program for cereal crops but has not yet developed a product that could help absorb the risks impeding the adoption of such higher value, but riskier, cropping systems. Despite the importance of perennials, most studies evaluating indexed products for agriculture focus on annual cropping systems or broad indicators of drought stress rather than the particulars of high value, long-term investments. Within this context, this project will evaluate the possibility of using remotely-sensed indicators to effectively shield farmers from risks of adopting higher value crops via their use in an indexed insurance and/or drought relief program. Achieving this overarching objective will involve three main tasks:
1. Detecting the extent of olive cropping systems and evaluating the degree of conversion from cereal crops to olives. 2. Evaluating socioeconomic conditions and risk management strategies in two study areas of Morocco. This step will first involve expert elicitation to ground the analysis in the realities and perceived risks in the supply chain, and will be followed by a series of stratified surveys among agricultural producers in two olive producing regions of Morocco whose agro-climatic conditions vary. 3. Integrating data on socioeconomic conditions with remotely sensed environmental changes to evaluate the correspondence of a remotely-sensed trigger of farmer losses due to adverse conditions such as drought. Results derived from this interdisciplinary research will be be made public to help advance land change science as well as inform land use policy in Morocco, and more broadly -- areas that have been evaluated as highly vulnerable to future climate change.