African Farmers Now Supported With Mobile Drought Insurance

By Staff Writer

Apr 11, 2016 05:53 AM EDT

Kenyan farmers will now be able to take advantage of the mobile insurance project that will support small-scale farmers to safeguard their crops against the dry seasons and other natural disasters.

Farmers who have at least one acre of land can insure themselves against extreme weather conditions. They will pay a 5% surcharge upon purchases of seeds and fertilizers registered with an insurance company that keep in touch with farmers through text messages.

The "insurance man" as it was called was a feature many Western countries are practicing in the past decades. Small amount will be collected by local agents on a weekly basis to give cover against long-term illness, funeral costs and unemployment, as reported by BBC.

According to Geeska Afrika Online, agriculture suffers more than any other sectors from financial exclusion. The introduction of mobile technology becomes vital in acknowledging the needs of the 80% of citizens who are counted out from the financial system. Local banks began to function more as "real" banks to cater to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises run mostly by "agropreneurs"

The rapid growth of mobile platforms and the digital services that move across them are changing the world in many ways. For less fortunate people who live in rural and remote areas of Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, they can now see the promising course to financial stability, the Harvard Business Review reported.

Safaricom used to be Kenya's market leader but this year would be UAP Insurance launching in Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The insurance targets to support smallholders to balance the good and bad years as well as encourage farmers to invest more in their lands, assuring them of compensation when crops fail due to extreme weather conditions.

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