The International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Wednesday announced a 3.9million U.S. dollars grant facility to expand weather insurance to one million farmers in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.A partnership with the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture is to ensure that a critical mass of smallholder farmers in the East African region have access to the index based insurance.
Correspondent’s reports stated that the IFC Manager for Access to Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa, David Crush told journalists in Nairobi “The index based insurance scheme will buffer East African farmers against negative impacts of climate change including droughts and fiery storms. It will strengthen food security and promote sustainable development,”
The new grant was issued by the Global Index Insurance Facility, a multi donor trust fund financed by the European Union, Japan and Netherlands and implemented by the Breton Woods Institutions. The new index based weather insurance is believed to be a more efficient and financially viable risk management tool for farmers.
According to Crush, “Index insurance helps to strengthen the livelihoods of small scale farmers, which is one of the most important tasks in the quest to fight poverty and foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Africa,” Crush said.
While underscoring the role of crop insurance, technology and affordable credit to transform agriculture in the region, rain fed agriculture in the East African region is vulnerable to climatic shocks hence a spike in hunger and malnutrition becomes inevitable.
The Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Marco Ferroni noted that crop insurance has inspired farmers to scale up investments in food production. “The support from IFC and EU has been instrumental in the expansion of our index insurance program. Insurance is crucial to protect farmers’ investments in their land,” Ferroni told journalists.
Syngenta Foundation is a Swiss based non-profit organization that has been implementing an agricultural index insurance initiative targeting 187,000 Kenyan smallholders.