Friday May 22, 2020

Agricultural insurance for smallholder farmers: Digital innovations for scale

Person looking at mobile phone smiling, light is reflecting on face in dark room

Globally, less than 20 per cent of smallholder farmers have insurance. Low awareness of insurance, the high cost of premiums and long claim settlement processes have restricted farmers’ use of indemnity-based insurance services. Index insurance offers ways of overcoming some of these challenges. However, service providers face difficulties, such as poor historical and current weather data availability, inadequate government support to provide certain index insurance services and effective distribution.

This report looks at how mobile network operators can use their assets to drive the adoption of index insurance services in developing countries. For instance, mobile technology can be used to register and locate farmers, mobile money can be used to collect premiums and pay out claims, and commercial microwave link data from mobile networks can be used to monitor rainfall. We analyse the challenges service providers face in scaling index insurance and the potential opportunities for growth through partnership-based approaches.

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