Written by Erick Akasa
Jubilee Insurance has compensated over 200 cotton farmers in Baringo County for losses suffered due to crop failure. The payments were made after satellite data, which is used in delivery of Jubilee’s index crop insurance, identified areas in Kerio Valley, which had received inadequate rainfall, therefore affecting the cotton crop yield. “This product, the first of its kind in East and Central Africa region, is among Jubilee’s efforts to expand its micro insurance and crop insurance, using technology as a medium that best delivers to low income earners,” notes Jubilee Insurance Kenya CEO Patrick Tumbo.
Jubilee has provided the cover to majority of cotton farmers in Kerio Valley since the product launch earlier this year, and plans to expand it to other cotton growing areas in Kenya. Jubilee also offers crop insurance for sorghum, maize, and horticulture farmers across the country.
Jubilee made the first claim payment to Boresha Sacco Society, which has financed the cotton farmers, while Rift Valley Products provides market for the cotton. Under the agreement, East Africa Challenge Fund provides financial support for the development of the insurance product; Planet Gurantee coordinates training and awareness to the farmers while SwissRe provides reinsurance support.
“Jubilee’s crop insurance is driven by the fact that most Kenyan farmers are small scale, and technology make the product easily accessible and affordable,” Observes Mr. Tumbo.
The satellite technology works by obtaining rainfall data of the areas under coverage, precisely than any other technology. When the index is triggered, all the farmers registered in that location benefit from the insurance payout without need for the farmer to declare. Jubilee has partnered with Planet Guarantee and EARS Earth Environment Monitoring centre based in Delft, The Netherlands, to develop the product and coordinate provision of the satellite data during the insurance period.
Index crop insurance opens a new hope for small-scale farmers who often suffer perennial weather related losses.