Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Roundtable on agricultural (re)insurance solutions for Africa.

June 10/11 (Nairobi) saw more than 40 clients and experts from the agricultural sector participate in a roundtable on (re)insurance solutions for Africa.

The event featured a wide range of views and case studies on agricultural insurance in Africa. Participants noted that agriculture in the region has significant business potential but is exposed to the vagaries of the weather and other risks.

" Whether it’s export-dependent flower farmers in Ethiopia, coffee farmers in Kenya, or cattle farmers in Tanzania, agricultural insurance provides them with the financial stability they need to prepare for the next season - should their income be wiped out due to drought, flood, hail, pests or diseases", said Lovemore Forichi, Senior Underwriter Agriculture for Africa at Swiss Re.

Agricultural investments are key for Africa. However, if investors are to feel confident about enabling further growth, they need a robust risk management framework. In company with local insurance firms and banks, Swiss Re can provide the financial security to cope with agriculture-related risks and prepare for future growth.

Reto J. Schneider, Swiss Re's Head of Agricultural Insurance for Africa and roundtable host, encouraged participants to fully leverage the expertise of the speakers and Swiss Re’s risk capacity to improve risk management and financial stability. The insurance industry needed to build up local capacity for underwriting and loss assessment as well as gathering more data to develop innovative risk transfer solutions for the African continent.

Said Schneider: ”Using pioneering agricultural insurance solutions, Swiss Re has been writing agricultural business in Africa since the late 1990s, working with local insurance companies to help farmers protect their income. Given the vast geographic and economic diversity of this continent, we understand the need for tailored risk transfer solutions. We are fully committed to continuously enhance our offerings for African clients."

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