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Empowerment of women smallholder farmers through digital microinsurance

Pula Advisors Limited, Kenya
Context

Smallholder farmers in Africa, of which 43% are estimated to be women, have limited choices and knowledge on microinsurance products and services that can cushion them against different shocks such as the destruction of crops by pests and diseases, failure of seeds to germinate and natural disasters such as droughts and floods.

Pula Advisors will use the USD 1 million ADFI grant for research to better understand social, cultural and economic factors that impact women farmers’ access to micro-insurance in Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia. Research findings will inform the design and implementation of gender-centric insurance products.

Objectives

Develop insurance products and services targeting women farmers

  • Research and design of bundled insurance products that specifically target women smallholders and meet their needs.
  • Modify the customer journey for women, addressing socio-cultural barriers that hinder access to insurance.

Increase input adoption by farmers and sales by agribusinesses through

  • Development of technologies and digital solutions to facilitate the process of farmer sign-up for insurance and agronomy tips, delivered via SMS or social media platforms like WhatsApp, which are popular with farmers with smartphones.
  • Investment in business intelligence solutions providing data analytics/insights into farmers’ behaviours, development and improvement of data driven products e.g. digital agronomy.

Close the gender gap through microinsurance products 

  • These products will include digital tips on agronomy and the importance of insurance, delivered via SMS or social media with the aim of reaching 180,000 women farmers and developing at least 3 insurance products/services aligned to their needs through a human centred design (HCD) approach.
    Outcomes
    • 360,000 farmers purchase digital micro-insurance, their insights are recorded and agronomy services are provided
    • 4,800 agro-dealers are trained on farmer data registration.
    • Development of new data-based gender centric farmer products/services
    Impact
    • Farmers are able to improve production through agronomy tips shared digitally and increase their use of certified fertilizers and seeds
    • Increased registration of farmers with agro-dealers to systematically contribute to data which is critical for analyzing farmers’ uptake of insurance services.
    • Gender centric digital insurance products designed to be aligned to the needs of women, which in turn drives up their access and usage
    Agriculture

    ADFI Focus Areas

    Gender Inclusivity
    Digital Products and Innovation
    Digital Credit (micro-retail, MSMEs, SMEs)

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