Weather index-based agricultural insurance for countries and farmers: 10 Innovations


Index-based agricultural insurance programs, such as the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, are demonstrating development benefits such as adoption of improved production technologies leading to increased crop yields, improved household food security and increased participation of women in decision-making.

This video is part of the series, 10 Innovations for Climate Action in Agriculture, launched at the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, November 6-17, 2017:

Agriculture is at the intersection of three major challenges in the context of climate change, achieving food security, adapting to the impacts of climate change and reducing emissions.

Because of this, agriculture has been recognized by countries as a key priority for climate action and is now being discussed at the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany.

Agriculture needs to produce 60 percent more food by 2050 to feed a growing population, and these production increases need to occur even as the impacts of climate change are becoming evident in crop, livestock and fisheries systems globally. However, agriculture also contributes 19-29 percent of global man-made greenhouse gas emissions and will need to reduce emissions by 2030 in order to achieve the global goal of limiting warming to 2o celsius.

To achieve these goals, CGIAR scientists have developed the 10 Best Bet Innovations for Adaptation in Agriculture.

GAIP in talks with govt over agric insurance

The Ghana Agriculture insurance Pool (gAiP), mandated to supply agricultural insurance products to farmers in the country, is in talks with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to find ways to incorporate insurance into the Planting for Food and Jobs programme (PFFJ).

Initially, insurance was not considered for the PFFJ which is the government’s flagship agricultural programme to increase productivity, whereas targeted crops under the programme, namely, maize, rice, soya were susceptible to diseases and pests.

Experts say insurance should be part of any risk management strategy, especially for the agricultural sector which is susceptible to many challenges such as uncertainties in weather conditions which subsequently affects farms yields.

In an interview, the General Manager of the gAiP, Alhaj Ali Mohammad Katu, said there was a missing link between agriculture insurance service providers and institutions such as the MoFA unlike a country such as Kenya where insurance penetration is over 10 percent, their livestock insurance is subsidised by the state so that when there is drought and its declared, at least the payout could go to the farmers so they can buy fodder from other places.

He said the recent fall armyworm (FAW) invasion on crop farms would require the government to support affected farmers, whereas insurance compensation could have sorted the farmers out, while the government extended support to other farmers.

The discussions are in the initial stages but we hope that we can make a headway, he said.

Agric insurance

Alhaj Katu said that generally, insurance penetration was low in Ghana with the figure at two percent which made that of agricultural insurance insignificant.

“insurance in this country is relegated to the background.

When you take any business plan, you don’t find insurance in it,” he said.

He said since the inception of the gAiP formed under the auspices of the Ghana insurers Association (giA), crop insurance uptake by farmers have been slow and not up to expectation and would require more sensitisation and awareness creation of farmers to understand the need to take up insurance.

“We are not only looking at farmers but other stakeholders such as agribusinesses, lending institutions such as the banks to lend to Agric.

Banks will lend to others in the value chain apart from production which they see as high risk and that’s when we come in and then we are able to sensitise them and they appreciate that fact that they should be able to lend,” he said.

Capacity of GAIP

the gAiP needs transformation to widen its scope because it was set up as a project and is now metamorphosing into a programme and so it should be able to increase staff strength and other logistics to ensure a wider coverage.

“the best way to go is to have a good collaboration with the financial institutions so that there will be bundling of insurance with a credit facility that will enhance distribution”, Alhaji Katu said.


Agricultural Insurance Market Analysis by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application to 2022 – MilTech

Agricultural Insurance Market analysis report speaks about the manufacturing process. Agricultural Insurance market report analyses the market growth, Market trends, market overview & market forecast from 2017-2022. The process of Agricultural Insurance Industry is analysed thoroughly with respect three points, viz. raw material and equipment suppliers, various manufacturing associated costs (material cost, labour cost, etc.) and the actual process.

The Agricultural Insurance market report elaborates the industry overview. Various definitions and classification of the industry, applications of the industry and chain structure are given. Present day status of the Agricultural Insurance industry in key regions is stated and industry policies and news are analysed.

Click Here for Sample PDF of Agricultural Insurance Report@ http://www.360marketupdates.com/enquiry/request-sample/10875904

Further in the Agricultural Insurance market report is examined for price, cost and gross margin. These three points are analysed for types, companies and regions. In continuation with this data sale price is for various types, applications and region is also included. The Agricultural Insurance market consumption for major regions is given. Additionally, type wise and application wise consumption figures are also given.

Agricultural Insurance Market by Application: Private Farms,State Farms,Agricultural Enterprise

Agricultural Insurance Market by Product Type: TYPE

Have Any Query? Ask Our Expert @ http://www.360marketupdates.com/enquiry/pre-order-enquiry/10875904

After the basic information, the Agricultural Insurance Market report sheds light on the production. Production plants, their capacities, global production and revenue are studied. Also, the Agricultural Insurance market growth in various regions and R&D status are also covered.

Agricultural Insurance Market by Regions: United States, EU, Japan, China, India and Southeast Asia.

To provide information on competitive landscape, this report includes detailed profiles of major key players of Agricultural Insurance Industry: Allianz,FCIC,Swiss RE,Metlife,Munich Re,Zurich Insurance,BSI Insurance,Syngenta,Sumitomo

The Agricultural Insurance market report discovers for each player, product details, capacity, price, cost, gross and revenue numbers are given. Their contact information is provided for better understanding.

In this Agricultural Insurance industry analysis, traders and distributors analysis is given along with contact details. For material and equipment suppliers also, contact details are given. New investment feasibility analysis is included in the Agricultural Insurance Market report.

No. of Report pages: 1

Price of Report: $3300 (Single User Licence)

Following are major Table of Content of Agricultural Insurance Market Report:

Chapter 1, to describe Agricultural Insurance Introduction, market overview, product type and application, market analysis by countries, market opportunities, market risk.

Chapter 2, Agricultural Insurance market forecast, by countries, type and application, with sales, price and revenue, from 2012 to 2022.

Chapter 3, to analyse the manufacturing cost, key raw materials and manufacturing process etc.

Chapter 4, to analyse the industrial chain, sourcing strategy and downstream end users (buyers).

Chapter 5 and 6, to describe Appendix, Methodology, Research Programs, Market Size Estimation, Market Breakdown and Data Triangulation, Data Source and Disclaimer.

Agricultural Insurance Market Analysis by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application to 2022 – satPRnews

Agricultural Insurance Market analysis report speaks about the manufacturing process. Agricultural Insurance market report analyses the market growth, Market trends, market overview & market forecast from 2017-2022. The process of Agricultural Insurance Industry is analysed thoroughly with respect three points, viz. raw material and equipment suppliers, various manufacturing associated costs (material cost, labour cost, etc.) and the actual process.

The Agricultural Insurance market report elaborates the industry overview. Various definitions and classification of the industry, applications of the industry and chain structure are given. Present day status of the Agricultural Insurance industry in key regions is stated and industry policies and news are analysed.

Click Here for Sample PDF of Agricultural Insurance Report@ http://www.360marketupdates.com/enquiry/request-sample/10875904

Further in the Agricultural Insurance market report is examined for price, cost and gross margin. These three points are analysed for types, companies and regions. In continuation with this data sale price is for various types, applications and region is also included. The Agricultural Insurance market consumption for major regions is given. Additionally, type wise and application wise consumption figures are also given.

Agricultural Insurance Market by Application: Private Farms,State Farms,Agricultural Enterprise

Agricultural Insurance Market by Product Type: TYPE

Have Any Query? Ask Our Expert @ http://www.360marketupdates.com/enquiry/pre-order-enquiry/10875904

After the basic information, the Agricultural Insurance Market report sheds light on the production. Production plants, their capacities, global production and revenue are studied. Also, the Agricultural Insurance market growth in various regions and R&D status are also covered.

Agricultural Insurance Market by Regions: United States, EU, Japan, China, India and Southeast Asia.

To provide information on competitive landscape, this report includes detailed profiles of major key players of Agricultural Insurance Industry: Allianz,FCIC,Swiss RE,Metlife,Munich Re,Zurich Insurance,BSI Insurance,Syngenta,Sumitomo

The Agricultural Insurance market report discovers for each player, product details, capacity, price, cost, gross and revenue numbers are given. Their contact information is provided for better understanding.

In this Agricultural Insurance industry analysis, traders and distributors analysis is given along with contact details. For material and equipment suppliers also, contact details are given. New investment feasibility analysis is included in the Agricultural Insurance Market report.

No. of Report pages: 1

Price of Report: $3300 (Single User Licence)

Following are major Table of Content of Agricultural Insurance Market Report:

Chapter 1, to describe Agricultural Insurance Introduction, market overview, product type and application, market analysis by countries, market opportunities, market risk.

Chapter 2, Agricultural Insurance market forecast, by countries, type and application, with sales, price and revenue, from 2012 to 2022.

Chapter 3, to analyse the manufacturing cost, key raw materials and manufacturing process etc.

Chapter 4, to analyse the industrial chain, sourcing strategy and downstream end users (buyers).

Chapter 5 and 6, to describe Appendix, Methodology, Research Programs, Market Size Estimation, Market Breakdown and Data Triangulation, Data Source and Disclaimer.

Term Sheet — Monday, October 30


I SCAM YOUS

Good morning, Term Sheet readers.

MORNING READ: What better way to start the morning off than with a nice, hefty read about scams? As you might’ve noticed celebrity endorsements are helping startups raise big bucks for their initial coin offerings. There was Paris Hilton and LydianCoin. Jamie Foxx and Cobinhood. And now, The New York Times published a piece about how Floyd Mayweather repeatedly told his 13.5 million Facebook followers that they should buy a new virtual currency known as the Centra token. And then this happened (from the NYT):

“Thanks in part to the endorsements, in just a few weeks Centra’s founders raised over $30 million from investors around the world. They finished their fund-raising this month, just before a grand jury indicted two of the three co-founders on perjury charges stemming from a drunken-driving case.”

Centra is one of approximately 270 ICOs that have raised more than $3.2 billion this year, which is a 3,000% increase from last year’s total. This didn’t sit well with USV’s Fred Wilson. On Twitter, he responded to the reporter of the article with, “that piece made me want to puke.” So Wilson wrote his own take on ICOs titled, “I Scam Yous.” While he thinks emerging blockchain/crypto technologies represent the next wave of innovation, Wilson says ICOs are very risky investments that require a lot of diligence and patience. He writes:

“Most ICOs, like the ones mentioned in Nathaniel’s piece, are scams. And the celebrities and others who promote them on their social media channels in an effort to enrich themselves are behaving badly and possibly violating securities laws.”

It’s an insightful piece that lays out the characteristics of legitimate projects (ie: it must have clear use case, a reasonable valuation, a credible team). Curious to hear what you think (let me know on Twitter).

ON THE REBOUND: 2016 was a dark year for startup funding in India. Last year, Indian tech companies raised approximately $4.4 billion, which was a pretty significant decrease from the $7.9 billion raised the previous year. Now, Indian tech startups are back for round two. In a record-setting 2017, startups have absorbed almost $10 billion — with two months left to go.

Why? Largely because of SoftBank. (You’ll quickly learn that SoftBank is the fuel behind a lot of new trends.) According to The Financial Times, SoftBank’s return to aggressive investment in the country has been the largest factor for the rebound. Just look at some of these mega-deals: SoftBank poured $2.5 billion in Flipkart, $1.4 billion in Paytm, and $250 million in Ola in a matter of months. (Most recently, Ola announced it scored $1.1 billion in new funding from investors including SoftBank & Tencent Holdings.) Though this boost from foreign investors is promising, it remains to be seen whether India could replicate some of the explosive tech growth investors have experienced in China in recent years.


VENTURE DEALS

Farmobile, an Overland Park, Kansas-based farm data company, raised $18.1 million in Series B funding. Investors include Anterra Capital and AmTrust Agricultural Insurance Services.

Averon, a San Francisco-based mobile identity verification company, raised $8.3 million in Series A funding. Avalon Ventures led the round, according to TechCrunch. Read more.

Beam Dental, a Columbus, Ohio-based provider of dental benefits for small and medium-sized businesses, raised $5.5 million in Series B funding. Lewis & Clark Ventures led the round, and were joined by investors including Drive Capital.


PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS

General Atlantic made an investment of an undisclosed amount in Authentic Brands Group, a New York-based owner of a portfolio of brands in fashion, sports, and entertainment.

Cinven agreed to acquire a majority stake in Planasa, a Spain-based plant variety and nursery operators, for approximately €450 million ($523 million).

Hildred Capital Partners, LLC agreed to acquire a major stake in Crown Laboratories, a Johnson City, Tenn.-based specialty pharmaceutical company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


OTHER DEALS

Constellation Brands agreed to take a 9.9% minority stake in Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED), a Canada-based medical marijuana company. The stake is worth about $191 million. Read more at Fortune.

Lennar Corp will buy CalAtlantic Group Inc (NYSE:CAA) in a deal valued at about $9.3 billion, according to Reuters. Read more.

Novartis will buy Advanced Accelerator Applications (Nasdaq:AAAP) for $3.9 billion, according to Reuters. Read more.

Vistra Energy will buy Dynegy Inc (NYSE:DYN) in an all-stock deal worth $1.74 billion, according to Reuters. Read more.

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical will buy Tridem Pharma S.A.S., a France-based pharmaceutical product retailer, for 63 million euros ($73 million), according to Reuters. Read more.

Joseph Tsai, the executive vice chairman and co-founder of Alibaba, agreed to acquire a 49% minority stake in the Brooklyn Nets, a Brooklyn-based basketball team. The terms include the option to acquire controlling interest of the NBA franchise in 2021, according to ESPN. The purchase price will be based on the $2.3 billion valuation of the team. Read more.

Pineapple Payments acquired Payline Data Services, a Chicago-based full-service payment solutions provider. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Akzo Nobel is in merger talks with rival Axalta Coating Systems Ltd (NYSE:AXTA) to create a $30 billion company, according to Reuters. Read more.


IPOs

Sogou, a Beijing, China-based search engine, said it plans to raise $540 million in an offering of 45 million shares between $11 to $13 a piece. In 2016, Sogou posted revenue of $660.4 million and earnings of $56 million. Sohu(37.8% pre-offering) and Tencent(43.7%) back the company. The underwriters include J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and CICC. The company plans to list as “SOGO” on the NYSE.

Four Seasons Education, a Shanghai, China-based math education company, said it plans to raise $101 million in an offering of 10.1 millions shares(9% insider) between $9 to $11 a piece. In 2016, the company posted revenue of $14.2 million and loss of $4.9 million. Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and China Renaissance are underwriters in the deal. The company plans to list on the NYSE.

Fireman B.V. or InflaRx, a Jena, Germany,-based pharmaceutical company developing treatments for inflammatory diseases, said it plans to raise $100 million in an offering of 67 million shares(40% insider) between $14 to $16 a piece. In 2016, InflaRx posted loss of 8.9 million euro, or $10.5 million. Bm-t betetiligungsmanagement thüringen, Staidson Biopharmaceuticals, and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau A.d.ö.R. back the company. J.P. Morgan, Leerink Partners, and BMO Capital Markets are underwriters in the deal. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq as “IFRX.”

Bandwidth, a Raleigh, N.C.-based API software company, said it plans to raise $84 million in an offering of 4 million shares between $20 to $22 a piece. In 2016, the company posted revenue of $152 million and income of $22.4 million. The company is backed by Carmichael Investment. Morgan Stanley, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Baird, Canaccord Genuity, and JMP Securities are underwriters in the deal. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq as “BAND.”

CBTX, a commercial bank based out of Houston, Texas, said it plans to raise $60 million by offering 2.4 millions shares between $24 and $26 a piece. The company record loans of $2.2 billion for 2016 and income of $27.2 million. Stephens, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, and Sandler O’Neill + Partners are underwriting the deal. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq as “CBTX.”

Cardlytics, an Atlanta-based marketing analytics company, has reportedly filed confidentially for an IPO, TechCrunch reports. Read more.


EXITS

DH Private Equity Partners agreed to sell its stake in TMF Group, a Netherlands-based provider of compliance and administrative services, to CVC Capital Partners for 1.75 billion euros ($2 billion).

Owens Corning will buy Paroc Group, a Finland-based mineral wool insulation products manufacturer, from CVC Capital Partners for approximately 900 million euros ($1.04 billion). Read more.

Genstar Capital acquired Institutional Shareholder Services Inc, a Germany-based proxy advisory firm, from Vestar Capital Partners, for $720 million.

Triton acquired Rocore Inc, an Indianapolis-based maker of heat exchangers and provider of heat exchanger repair services. The seller was Keystone Capital. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.


PEOPLE

Alex Marsh joined Maven Capital Partners as an investment manager. Previously, Marsh was at Northstar Ventures.

Chubb Limited (CB) Q3 Loss Narrower Than Expected, Down Y/Y

Chubb Limited CB reported third-quarter 2017 operating loss of 13 cents per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 26 cents. Loss compared unfavorably with earnings of $2.88 in the year-ago quarter.

The quarter largely suffered due to three consecutive hurricanes and two successive earthquakes, having induced the company to incur loss. Catastrophe losses were $1.5 billion or $3.27 per share in the quarter.

Including one-time integration and merger-related expenses of 8 cents, amortization of fair value adjustment of acquired invested assets of 11 cents and net realized gains of 17 cents, net loss of 15 cents per share compared unfavorably with $2.88 per share earned in the year-ago quarter.

Quarter in Detail

Net premiums written improved 4.3% year over year to about $7.9 million in the quarter. Net premiums earned increased 1.3% to $7.8 million. Premiums benefited from one-time unearned premium reserve (UPR) transfer in 2016 were partially offset by merger-related underwriting actions.

Net investment income was $893 million, up 7.5% from a year ago.

Property and casualty underwriting loss was $784 million compared with underwriting income of $1 billion in the year-ago quarter. This loss is attributable to huge catastrophe loss incurred in the quarter. Combined ratio deteriorated 2480 basis points (bps) to 110.8%.

Segment Update

North America Commercial P&C Insurance: Net premiums written declined 0.7% year over year to $3.1 billion. Combined ratio deteriorated 2340 bps to 109.6%.

North America Personal P&C Insurance: Net premiums written increased 18.1% year over year to $1.2 billion. Combined ratio deteriorated 3640 bps to 120.8%.

Overseas General Insurance: Net premiums written increased 1.2% year over year to $2 billion. Combined ratio deteriorated 2040 bps to 101.6%.

North America Agricultural Insurance: Net premiums written increased 9.1% year over year to $926 million. Combined ratio deteriorated 150 bps to 90.4%.

Global Reinsurance: Net premiums written surged 45.8% year over year to $191 million. Combined ratio of 187.4% deteriorated from 66.3% in the year-ago quarter.

Life Insurance: Net premiums written increased 1.3% year over year to $539 million.

Financial Update

Cash balance was $1.1 billion as of Sep 30 2017, up approximately 13.6% from the end of 2016. Total shareholders’ equity grew about 4.6% to $50.4 million as of Sep 30, 2017.

Book value per share was $108.74 as of Sep 30, 2017, up nearly 5% from year-end 2016.

Operating cash flow was $1.8 billion in the quarter.

Share Repurchase Update

Chubb spent $232 million to buy back 1.6 million shares in the quarter.

Zacks Rank

Chubb currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Performance of Other Insurers

Among other players from the insurance industry that have reported third-quarter earnings so far, the bottom line at The Progressive Corporation PGR , The Travelers Companies, Inc. TRV and RLI Corp. RLI beat their respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.

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To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Farmobile Raises $18 Million to Expand World’s Leading Digital Agriculture Platform

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Farmobile,
the farm data company, has raised $18.1 million in Series B funding to
expand its data platform to help farmers ground-truth their data,
mitigate risks and generate a revenue stream from the data they own.

Contributors to the round include Anterra
Capital
, AmTrust
Agricultural Insurance Services
and existing investors. With the
completion of the Series B round, Farmobile’s total funding to date is
over $28 million.

“Our customers continue to tell us Farmobile’s data as a service
platform is the best way to collect, organize, share and sell their
agronomic and machine data,” said Jason Tatge, Farmobile CEO and
co-founder. “We will accelerate development of distribution channels in
ag retail, OEM and equipment dealerships, and insurance. Connecting
these channels with farmer-permissioned raw data sets will revolutionize
the way new products are brought to market and performance is measured.
Our mission is to make sure farmers, worldwide, have access to a cost
effective strategy to collect, protect and own their digital assets with
a clear path to ROI opportunities.”

Farmobile’s leading innovative technology passively collects the most
complete and standardized set of agronomic and machine data in real-time
across a mixed fleet. Electronic Field Records are automatically
generated from the data and are available for farmer retrieval via
internet connected devices.

“Farmobile’s approach to ag data management is a breath of fresh air for
the industry,” said Mark Raymie, President of AmTrust Agriculture
Services. “Better utilization of ag data is going to have huge
implications across every facet of agriculture, including crop
insurance. We’re investing in the future of ag.”

Farmobile also offers the industry’s first marketplace (the Data Store)
for farmers to directly benefit from selling copies of their data to
third party buyers.

“Farmobile’s technology allows farmers to access, control and monetize
data like never before,” said Dudley Hawes, Partner, Anterra Capital.
“This is a team that understands farm data and the power of various data
layers as they pull together.”

Farmobile was founded in 2013 to foster interoperability of ag data and
ensure data rights for farmers. Farmobile empowers farmers with data
driven technologies that help farmers easily interact with their data,
negotiate from a position of strength and steward their land for
generations to come.

About Farmobile

Farmobile is the farm data company. We help farmers own their data
outright. Our products and services are used to collect, store, touch,
share and sell valuable agronomic and machine data to vetted third
parties. After all, data is among the most valuable commodities a farm
produces. Farmobile is proudly based in Overland Park, Kansas in the
heart of the Midwest. The most resilient farmers in the world use
Farmobile. Secure your data in one place today at www.farmobile.com.

About Anterra

Anterra Capital, a growth capital fund, is jointly funded by Eight
Roads, the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International Limited
(FIL), and Rabo Private Equity, the proprietary private equity arm of
Rabobank. Anterra Capital invests in fast growing companies that are
working to make the global food supply chain safer, more efficient and
more sustainable. For further information, please visit www.anterrracapital.com.

About AmTrust Agricultural Insurance Services

AmTrust Agricultural Insurance Services is a subsidiary of AmTrust
Financial, Inc. (AFSI), a multinational insurance holding company
headquartered in New York City. AFSI offers specialty property and
casualty insurance products, including workers’ compensation, commercial
automobile, general liability and extended service and warranty coverage
through its primary insurance subsidiaries rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M.
Best. AmTrust is included in the Fortune 500 list of largest companies.
For more information about AmTrust visit www.amtrustgroup.com.

Agricultural insurance needed in underdeveloped Nigerian market: Reports

26th October 2017 – Author: Marianne Lehnis

Africa Re, the World Bank, and the federal government are collaborating to improve insurance penetration levels among farmers through affordable insurance packages, Ken Aghoghovbia, Chief Operating Officer/Deputy Managing Director, of Africa Re said in an interview with Nigeria Today.

Increased agricultural insurance penetration is expected to play a crucial role in driving the Nigerian federal government’s agricultural transformation and financial inclusion agenda.

He told Nigeria Today; “If farmers are paying lower premium, many of them would take agriculture insurance, and if they have it, in case of any catastrophe in their business, they would be able to weather any storm and continue in their business. They would be in a position to pay back any credit facilities.

“Many of them need funds to expand their business, but credit would hardly come if there is no guarantee that they would payback, especially in the face of catastrophe. This is one area that we are closely working with the World Bank and helping drive the Federal Government growth agenda.”

Aghoghovbia highlighted the urgent need for greater insurance penetration in the country that falls behind other top African insurance markets with an insurance sector that’s largely focused on government and corporate segment, and low levels of retail uptake.

The Africa Re reinsurance executive’s sentiment echoes the concerns of other industry experts operating in the Nigeria market; Executive Vice Chairman of Insurance Brokers of Nigeria, (IBN), Prosper Okpue blamed the tendency for most insurance brokers to focus on big-ticket government business for the low-level of insurance penetration in the country.

Okpue suggested insurers market their own products throughout the more remote regions, instead of relying on brokers for business deals in Nigeria.

As a fast-growing country with a population of 180 million, the potential for the personal and life insurance market share is still largely untapped by the re/insurance industry – despite Nigeria’s fairly stable macroeconomic environment which offers potential for rapid economic and insurance market growth.

India’s water-logged farmers try out revamped flood insurance

MADHURPATTI, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When heavy rains swept through this village in northern Bihar in August and September, so much floodwater covered farmers’ fields that it was difficult to tell one plot of land from another.

“After the flood, when we went out to see the land there was nothing there,” said Babu Ram Rai, one Madhurpatti farmer.

Rai and his neighbors – who farm a floodplain crisscrossed by rivers – are no strangers to flooding.

But as climate change brings intensifying rainfall in South Asia, the floods are worsening and so is their destructive potential. In August and September, the heaviest rains in several years in Bihar killed 514 people and affected 17 million more, according to Bihar’s state disaster management authority.

Insurance policies for farmers could play a role in stemming the losses, experts say. But getting insurance right in India – from how fast help is delivered to how closely payouts match actual losses – has proved tricky.

Now, however, a new flood insurance effort being tried in six villages in Bihar aims to bring greater accuracy and speed to assessing and compensating crop damage from flooding.

The pilot project, backed by the Sri Lanka-based International Water Management Institute (IWMI), will insure 200 farmers for up to 5 million rupees ($78,000) in losses in total, with payouts made within a couple of months of a disaster.

“What we’re trying to do is … expedite the entire thing,” said Alok Sikka, IWMI’s representative in India.

GROWING RISKS

Between 2006 and 2015, the number of floods around the world increased but flood deaths dipped, particularly because of efforts to better prepare for such disasters in countries such as Bangladesh and China, according to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

In India, however, flood deaths increased over the same decade, with 90 floods killing 15,860 people, compared to 13,660 deaths from 67 floods in the previous decade, according to UNISDR data.

In South Asia, floods have cost countries approximately $95 billion over the last 30 years. The economic damage has been particularly devastating for farmers in the region.

Small-scale farmers represent close to 60 percent of the estimated 90 million rural households in India. A third of the country’s farmers own less than half a hectare of land, or about one acre, according to government surveys.

In normal years, these farmers can earn enough to feed their families and replant for the following season. But their thin margins makes them especially vulnerable to any kind of accident or disaster.

Buying flood insurance is one way to cut the risks. But problems ranging from inaccurate damage assessments to delays in payments have plagued India’s existing agricultural insurance efforts.

For example, research by the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment found that information on crop damage often comes from local officials who file reports based on conversations or brief looks at affected areas, because they are unable to visit every farm.

“Sometimes there is a lack of resources… there are a lot of problems,” said Vineet Kumar, a climate change program officer at the research institute.

At times government estimates of crop damage after a flood ”don’t actually match the actual situation”, he said.

It’s not for lack of trying. The government has almost continually revised and updated insurance schemes since launching them in 1985.

In Bihar, for example, the Indian government’s 2016 Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna – the latest agricultural insurance effort – gives farmers payouts when certain weather triggers – such as rainfall levels – are reached.

But the scheme does not always capture the true extent of flood damage, experts say.

”If you go by the weather-based insurance, it says there is average rainfall” even when the farmer’s fields are actually flooded, said Giriraj Amarnath, the lead scientist on the new IWMI insurance effort.

SATELLITE DATA

Under the new insurance program, being carried out in collaboration with Bihar’s government and private partners, including the Agricultural Insurance Company of India, expected damage to fields will be verified using satellite data and on-the-ground visits.

The duration of a flood, and its depth, will then be compared to historical data and used to calculate a threshold for crop losses. If that threshold is passed, a farmer will receive compensation, Amarnath said.

One of the biggest problems facing flood-hit farmers is that help – usually from government relief efforts – rarely comes fast enough to suit farmers, said Anil Sinha, a former vice chair of the Bihar State Disaster Management Authority who spent more than 30 years working as an Indian government administrator.

Usually, after a flood, a team from the state and central government makes field visits to assess the damage. They then submit reports that go through a number of committees before the government approves the release of a payout.

“By the time they come back, make the assessment, then that goes up to a cabinet subcommittee headed by the agricultural minister and finance minister … a lot of time has passed,” he said.

Pushing some of that relief money into insurance could help, Amarnath believes.

Right now, “the government only spends post-flood, never pre-flood,” he said.

STILL SKEPTICAL

Rai, the Madhurpatti farmer, said that in 2009 he paid an insurance premium of 600 rupees ($10) and received a payout of 18,000 rupees ($300) after losing the crop to floods.

But the money came only the following year, he said – and he needed 50,000 rupees ($770) per hectare to plant again, including the cost of irrigating the land with diesel pumps.

Farmers also can come to resent paying for insurance each year if they don’t suffer losses.

“I’ve registered for insurance three or four times,” Rai noted. ”But I only received a payout once.”

The IWMI pilot project, which began in 2015, will make payouts for damage from the August and September flooding in November, Amarnath said.

If the effort proves a success, partners hope to expand it and offer coverage to a million farmers in Bihar by 2025, said Amarnath of IWMI.

His team also plans to run a similar pilot effort in Bangladesh, just across India’s eastern border, where farmers also face annual floods.

For now, however, some insured farmers remain skeptical of the new effort will bring real changes.

“We have to see … how much it will actually benefit us” Rai said.

Reporting by Hui Wu; editing by Laurie Goering :; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, resilience, women’s rights, trafficking and property rights. Visit news.trust.org/climate

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