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