Microinsurance platform launched for West African farmers

Oct 27, 2011

A new regional index-based agricultural microinsurance platform was launched on October 25th in Dakar, Senegal, Walfadjri newspaper reports.

The project, called Crop Insurance Sahel, will benefit 60,000 farmers over a period of five years in four west African countries: Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin.

The project, the cost of which is estimated at $4,4 million (€3.11 million), will also raise agricultural insurance's awareness for 165,000 players in the insurance sector.

Launched with the support of PlaNet Guarantee and the Global Index Insurance Facility (Giif), this programme aims to "reduce the fluctuation of income for west African farmers, fight for the deterioration of living conditions, secure agricultural finance mechanisms and contribute to the reduction of food insecurity".

Index-based insurance is linked to a parameter, such as temperature or rain, when, for example, a pluviometric index is used to insure against crop losses linked to drought.

This launch coincides with the announcement in Tunisia of the arrival of several microinsurance products (life, incapacity, agriculture and professional), Ecofin news agency reports.

Their objective is to improve the penetration rate of insurers - estimated at 1.76 percent - and answer the need for insurance cover of the low income population in rural, urban and suburban areas, explained the national delegate of the Tunisian Federation of Insurance Companies Kamel Chibani.