Agricultural production and food security have made impressive progress in South and South-East Asia over recent decades. The improvements have played a key role in fueling economic growth. However, climate change and related erratic weather events threaten farmers’ livelihoods, as do pests and diseases. Poor harvests can prevent farmers from repaying their loans. They are then naturally unwilling to access credit or use modern inputs in the next season. Yields and income therefore typically fall again.
In OECD countries, most farmers benefit from crop insurance or the equivalent in price supports and guarantees. By contrast, farmers in middle- and low-income countries, do not have access to such risk mitigation services. Most of these farmers are smallholders.
Agricultural insurance is a valuable financial instrument for smallholder farmers. It increases their resilience by avoiding or limiting potentially devastating financial losses. This prevents them from falling into poverty. Insurance also eases access to finance and increases smallholders’ productivity. They can confidently invest in their farms and adopt new technologies that enable economic prosperity and eventual graduation from poverty.
The Syngenta Foundation and Agricultural Insurance
The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) has been working on agricultural insurance since 2009. We started by developing innovative and affordable insurance tailored to smallholders in East Africa. In 2014, we created an independent social enterprise called Africa Climate Risk Enterprise (ACRE Africa). So far, ACRE has operations in three countries, an innovative range of micro-insurance products and over 1.7 million farmers insured.
SFSA’s Agricultural Insurance Solutions (AIS) team is now using its experience to bring smart risk-mitigation strategies to farmers elsewhere. With tailored micro-insurance products, farmers can confidently invest in quality inputs, get access to credit and increase their productivity.
The AIS team operates as an intermediary, not an insurance company. We build a bridge between demand and supply in the agriculture insurance market and align the various organizations involved. Our stakeholders include farmers, cooperatives, the public sector, input suppliers, local insurers and international reinsurers, microfinance institutions, NGOs, and mobile network operators. We monitor and assess risk and develop insurance products specifically for smallholders. These products typically cover a variety of crops against weather risks like drought, storms, flooding, and erratic rains. Other examples include yield cover.
We offer a range of services such as technical product design, stakeholder coordination, and business development. That combination is usually unique in agricultural insurance value chains. SFSA’s AIS team helps build the capacity of local insurance companies to add agricultural insurance products to their portfolios. We partner with agricultural organizations to tailor and implement the best-suited products.
Learn about our portfolio of agricultural insurance products