Currently showing: Food security > Farming

11 Apr 13 09:43

The good thing about working in the agricultural insurance space in Africa is that you can really see the benefit of your work in the community. In Sub-Saharan Africa for example, it now becomes clear that an insurance policy is a good enabler for lifting many farming families out of the poverty cycle.

One partnership I am involved in is Kilimo Salama – which means "safe farming" in Kiswahili. In 2012, this programme paid out over half a million USD to 7800 farmers in Kenya. This might not seem a lot, but for smallholder farmers living close to a subsistence level, we can be sure that this money ends up exactly at the right place – and that it really helps.

Let me explain this a little more by using the example of Kenya. In 2012, farmers planted their crops as every year, but then the rain failed early in the season and their seedlings were wiped out. Farmers were able to use the insurance policy as a guarantee to ask their banks for a further loan to replant in the same season.

This system of using an insurance policy as a guarantee is very important, since it helps farmers to gain access to finance. In turn, this enables them to buy seeds and fertilizers to increase productivity and secure income.

In other words, insurance is not just about putting enough food on the table – it is an important step into a more secure financial future for farmers and a contribution to global food security.

Category: Food security: Farming

Location: Kenya


PalkinZed - 29 Apr 2013, 4:43 a.m.

Hi Christina!
Sounds like you're doing great work! Until a few months ago, I didn't realize how insurance or re-insurance can help alleviate generational or situational poverty in developing nations, thats because I had never heard of micro-insurance. Now that I have learned about and researched the topic, I can begin to see how micro-insurance or micro-finance can help bring real resources, real solutions and real hope to those that didn't have anything remotely similar before. I have been researching the potential market for micro-insurance in the Republic of Philippines, where the government is investing resources to educate its people on micro-insurance and its benefits. The government, in addition to other research groups, has published papers on how a "simple" concept of micro-insurance can help bring families and generations out of poverty. Even though mico-insurance is a service/product for re-insurers and insurance companies, it is still an investment for those corporations into the people and countries where they launch micro-insurance products.
Thanks for your work! :)

Richard Heard - 14 May 2013, 10:23 a.m.

Hey Christina. Great post! Your observation that insurance not only helps feed hungry people in Africa but also strengthens the financial prospects for smallholder farmers and supports global food security is a compelling one.

That said, I'm sure you would be the first to concede that for Swiss Re's efforts to bear fruit in the longer term, they need to be nourished by thorough-going changes in political governance and economic management across the African continent.

In an interview given to the BBC, ahead of the recent World Economic Forum on Africa, former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, alludes to the massive challenges facing governments in Africa. One of their main goals, he says, should be to ensure that the people benefit in full measure from the continent's rich natural resources.

Listen to the interview here:

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