Small scale farmers face many risks.
As such, they need farm insurance to cover them in case of risks. Some of the risks that they face include agricultural risks, financial risks and human resources risks. Startups are coming up to cover farmers against such risks. The following are some insurance startups for small scale farmers in Africa.
Insurance for Small Scale Farmers in Africa
Pula is an insurance startup in Kenya founded in 2015 by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru. It combines insurance and technology to provide farmers with digital insurance products. The startup has invested over $6 million to provide insurance products to farmers across the African continent.
The insurtech startup is using technology to assess risks facing farmers. For instance, it uses data and technology to determine weather patterns and then provides products that counter those risks. It works with banks to provide farmers with agricultural insurance. When banks are providing loans to farmers, farmers must have insurance. The banks will be the ones that will pay for the insurance instead of the farmers. The farmer then has to repay the loan with an interest which usually includes the insurance cost.
Pula also partners with government agencies and agribusiness companies to provide farmers with insurance products. Among its clients include the World Food Programme, Kenyan government, Zambian government and the Central bank of Nigeria.
Agriculture and Climate Risk Enterprises Ltd (ACRE)
ACRE is an agricultural insurance startup for small scale farmers. ACRE began in 2014 after the evolution of Kilimo Salama that had been started in 2008. ACRE won the best African startup award in Paris. It has signed an agreement with the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization to cover Kenyan farmers against agricultural risks.
There are many challenges that small-scale farmers face like climate change, floods and droughts. ACRE is very active in Kenya. With over 60% percent of the Kenya population relying on agriculture, agricultural risks can lead to massive losses. Syngenta Foundation is the biggest ACRE’s shareholder. The startup also partners with Global Index Insurance Facility to help small scale farmers to invest in their crops.
UAP Old Mutual
UAP Old Mutual is an insurance company in Kenya that provides farmers with agricultural insurance. You can get insurance cover for your crops or animals on your farm. For crop insurance, there are a wide variety of crops that are covered ranging from wheat, maize, barley, sugarcane, coffee, tobacco and tea. You can insure your crops against hail storms, rainfall frost, flooding and lightning.
The insurer covers farmers against diseases, terminal nature, and epidemics and theft. The insurer considers the fact that livestock differs in size, type and needs. The insurer then provides insurance products that are customized to the needs of your livestock.
OKO is mobile-based insurance that provides African farmers with insurance products for their crops. The startup was initially started in Israel before moving to Luxembourg. The startup provides finance to farmers in times of need by helping them access loans. The insurance company uses satellite data and mobile technology to provide crop insurance to African farmers. The main challenge that faces startups wishing to insure farmers are in setting up a model that helps to verify claims.
OKO had invested in technology to use satellites to verify geographical areas and verify if they were affected by floods or drought. It makes work easier since one does not have to visit the specific geographical area to verify if there was such an occurrence. The startup launched its first product in Africa in Mali in January 2020. Since then, many farmers have subscribed to its services. Currently, the startup is carrying out an insurance pilot study with barley farmers in Uganda.