A forecast for change

Weather derivatives

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Since its inception in 1996, the weather derivatives market has served as a convenient way for energy firms and agricultural companies to hedge weather risk. But those most vulnerable to weather risk – the poor farmers of sub-Saharan Africa – have remained unprotected against the vagaries of their national climate. The result, all too often, is drought, famine and disaster.

However, Richard Wilcox, head of business planning at the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) in Geneva, hopes d