Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, June 29, 2012

Kenya’s innovative agricultural micro-insurance program for smallholder farmers in Kenya wins award

14 June 2012. London. Kilimo Salama, a partnership between the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and UAP Insurance, won the Financial Times’ award for Technology in Sustainable Finance, recognizing their groundbreaking work to provide smallholder farmers with access to insurance cover using innovative technology and approaches.

The FT’s Award for Technology in Sustainable Finance recognizes organizations and initiatives that are addressing the scarcity of essential goods and services across society and those that demonstrate leadership and innovation in addressing environmental, social and corporate governance considerations in business.

Kilimo Salama (Kiswahili for ‘safe farming’) is an innovative, pay-as-you-plant, index-based, micro-insurance program for smallholder farmers in Kenya and the first in the world to use a mobile network-based platform and on-the-ground solar weather stations to provide smallholder farmers with low-cost insurance policies.“When it comes to drought, most farmers have no choice but to simply pray for rain. And if the rains don't come, the crops don't grow. At a time of global change, Kilimo Salama is giving farmers more options so they can meet these challenges and prosper,” said Marco Ferroni, Executive Director of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture

Kilimo Salama has seen an eventful second year marked by severe weather and explosive farmer demand for insurance to mitigate current and future weather risk. Kilimo Salama has just completed one of the largest index insurance payouts ever experienced on the continent has insured nearly 64,000 farmers for the next season. 

They are currently making plans to expand to other countries in the region beginning with Rwanda. 


In Kenya, small-scale farmers are particularly vulnerable to the vagaries of weather, often losing their entire investment when droughts or floods destroy their crops. Crop insurance is usually too costly for such operations. But a Swiss-based foundation is now offering low cost insurance through a program called "Kilimo Salama," or "safe farming." Cathy Majtenyi reports for VOA from the western Kenyan town of Eldoret.

Rose Goslinga, Technical Coordinator of the Agricultural Insurance Initiative, Kilimo Salama, speaks at the Power of Information: New Technologies for Philanthropy and Development conference. This conference was co-hosted by the Indigo Trust, Omidyar Network and Institute for Philanthropy. In this video, Rose talks about her work in the field of crop insurance via mobile phone.

Related:Preliminary List of Innovative Financing Mechanisms (IFMs) for Agriculture, Food and nutrition

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