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Resonance partnered with Jubilee Insurance to develop an affordable and accessible crop insurance product enabling farmers to build resiliency against climate risks. 

Challenge

The lack of crop insurance for smallholder farmers is a major challenge in many parts of Africa. Farmers invest a significant portion of their savings into annual seed stock and fertilizer, leaving minimal cash reserves to support themselves during a drought or rainy season. Climate change has only amplified these conditions, leaving farmers vulnerable to the devastating impacts of harvest variability. An affordable, easy-to-access crop insurance product could eliminate some of the financial risks to smallholder farmers, enabling them to provide for their families and take calculated risks on innovations like improved hybrid seeds or fertilizers that can increase yields and raise incomes.

Insurance companies are well versed in the benefits that an insurance product could provide to both rural farmers and to their own growth targets. However, designing insurance products that are affordable and that make good business sense requires extensive weather data and access to customer information, two things which are often lacking in rural African markets.

For 75 years, Jubilee Insurance has offered insurance products to Kenyan businesses and consumers, but has struggled to offer affordable crop insurance to Kenya’s millions of smallholder farmers. Accurate, verified, and reliable weather data is essential in developing a crop insurance product as it enables insurance companies to evaluate risk and price premiums in a way that is affordable for farmers and sustainable from a business perspective. Most weather information in Kenya is still captured on paper resulting in inaccuracy, significant time delays, and general inaccessibility of data sets.

Approach

Designing a financial product for some of the world’s poorest consumers takes time and commitment from diverse stakeholders. Over the course of 6 months, Resonance worked with Jubilee Insurance to define the hurdles and bottlenecks for reaching these rural farmers with an affordable crop insurance product. We conducted internal interviews at Jubilee, evaluated data supply chains, identified key stakeholders, facilitated workshops, and engaged rural farmers to ensure a product was designed to meet the needs of the end user.

The key to a successful weather-indexed crop insurance product is accurate and verified climate data. With generous support from the USAID/East Africa PREPARED project, we were able to engage Jubilee, Kenya Meteorological Department, Rabobank, FAO, and others to develop a shared value partnership for the development and roll-out of a new, affordable, and easy-to-use crop insurance product that utilized newly available hyper-accurate climate data.

Outcomes

In early 2017, the partners rolled out the new insurance product, called Kinga Kilimo (Protect Your Farm) in 10 counties across Kenya. Based on the success of the initial roll-out of Kinga Kilimo, Jubilee and its partners are planning to roll out Kinga Kilimo across the rest of Kenya this fall (2017).