Insuring African farmers for the next El Niño

In the Horn of Africa a drought exacerbated by El Niño has damaged crops leading to increased malnutrition for the population. As of March 2016, close to 19.5 million people in the region are affected.

The lack of rain not only threatens the population today but it also dims prospects for the next growing season, as farmers lose the current harvest and may not have the means to plant for the next one.

This ripple effect is putting the economic development in the region in jeopardy.

Farmers in other regions of the world have protection in case a harvest fails. Insurance payouts help them survive and keep farming for the next season.

We're working with farmers, governments, insurance companies, banks, NGOs and other stakeholders to ensure that African farmers be subject to the same benefit. Index insurance schemes are amongst the solutions offered by Swiss Re to provide affordable cover to those who are most vulnerable. Through modern technology like mobile phones for customer interaction, and satellites and drones assisting risk assessments and swift claims handling, insurance can now reach smallholder farmers even in very remote regions.

Farming for a growing population
Index insurance and related technological innovation are important elements supporting further commercial development of the African agricultural sector. In essence, it can provide smallholder farmers of today with the opportunity of becoming the commercial farmers of tomorrow, securing food supplies for growing city populations.

Such development needs investment. Insurance covers credit risk in the face of natural disasters, providing the assurance investors need, as it not only allows farmers to pay back loans, but to stay on the farm and even grow the business. Ultimately, this can unlock the funds required to strengthen the African agricultural sector, allowing it to thrive.

Partnering for food security

Swiss Re believes that partnering for food security is a crucial step on the path to making sure everyone has enough to eat.

Read the whole story

World Food Day: the return of...

As a record breaking El Niño builds up in the Pacific, Southeast Asia has already been hit by drought. Africa will feel the weather effects next – and with it agriculture, the backbone of economies in...

Read the whole story