For this purpose, UBIMET investigated when, where and in what size and intensity hail events occurred in Kosovo between 2007 and 2016. “We precisely looked at the intensity and the diameter of hailstones in the individual Kosovo regions,” explains Fassnauer. The data were provided to the World Bank International Finance Corporation (IFC) at the end of 2018. Supported by the governments of Austria and Hungary, IFC drives a project to develop the agroinsurance business in Kosovo.
Hail analysis strengthens agricultural development
Agriculture accounts for 13% of the Balkan republic’s GDP. Almost one third of the population of Kosovo, which gained independence from Serbia in 2008, works in the tertiary sector. “The biggest problem for agriculture consists in getting access to financial funds. As there are hardly any insurance products for agricultural risk, banks do not give out any loans, analyses Leah Soroka, IFC Project Leader at the World Bank.
As farmers have had hardly any opportunity to get access to seeds, fertilizer and machines, they have not been able to increase their production. The economic development of one of the world’s poorest regions has thus been substantially impaired. “With our hail data we have contributed to changing this and offer new opportunities to the people concerned.,” says UBIMET Founder & CEO Michael Fassnauer proudly.