SFSA Innovations in Africa
The SFSA AIS team’s role is as a catalyst that stimulates the development and implementation of agricultural insurance products relevant for smallholder farmers in developing countries. 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 under the Kilimo Salama Project.
SFSA’s Kilimo Salama insurance project in Africa won the 2012 Financial Times Award for Technology in Sustainable Finance, the 2013 Tech Award for Economic Development and the 2013 AON Client Innovation Award. The team and insurance products have been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, East African Business Week, Christian Science Monitor, Voice of America, BBC, The Economist, and other media.
Kilimo Salama success and challenges has formed part of the great market development in Africa and beyond. Many research work and new ideas on the continent are based on Kilimo Salama. Local expertise running various projects in Africa with various institutions are former employees of the Kilimo Salama Project.
Based on Project success SFSA incubated a social for-profit enterprise trading as ACRE in 2014. ACRE is an InsurTech intermediary specialized in agricultural product development and distribution of affordable, simple and within reach risk transfer solutions. ACRE Africa, the brand name of Agriculture and Climate Risk Enterprise Ltd., is a registered insurance surveyor in Kenya, an insurance agent in Rwanda and in Tanzania. It operates as a for-profit company that evolved from the Kilimo Salama project (established 2009) that was funded through the Syngenta Foundation.
SFSA AIS focus in Africa is to unlock the impossible into new possibilities. SFSA team take lead in market research in new areas to builds data, product, distribution and digital infrastructure to enable cost-effective development of microinsurance products and channels for low-cost delivery. With over 8 data sources foundation is mapping out tailored ecological zoning that informs right use of data source that fit product development in specific markets. As market think tanks we envision to innovate, develop and build scalable index insurance infrastructure through local partnership, use of modern day digital technologies and adoption of smallholder indigenous knowledge into product design and distribution. With various partners, we have started new Agricultural research work in Sudan, Morocco, and Tunisia.
SFSA Innovation is guided by value chain design thinking that focuses on offering a holistic solution to mitigate weather risks, not just insurance. Profound understanding of agricultural risk enabled the development of customized insurance products using mobile technology, bundled with agricultural advisory services, weather data, local access to quality inputs, and input credit. The products should allow value chain players to serve smallholder at peace by mitigating weather-related repayment risk.