Strengthening farming? Think insurance.

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The Syngenta Foundation (SFSA) team in Indonesia recently co-organized a multi-stakeholder forum on agricultural insurance. Host of the Jakarta event was Bappenas, the National Development Planning Agency. Bappenas runs the five-year strategic plans for development via the relevant ministries. It is currently laying out an agricultural insurance roadmap for 2020-2024.

The Indonesian government started an indemnity-based scheme in 2012. As well as drought and flood, it also protects against selected pests and diseases. The multi-stakeholder forum presented experiences with this cover and discussed alternatives. These include the weather index-based insurance available in our Dana Pandan (“Safe and Sustainable Farming Fund”) program. 

Forum participants came from the Ministry of Agriculture, the micro-finance (MFI) association, OJK (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan –Financial Services Authority), planning offices, educational institutions, the Bureau of Logistics, insurance companies and other organizations.

Among those speaking were our insurance partner ACA, MFI partners BPR Balongan (West Java) and CU Rahayu (East Java), plus farmers from each MFI’s area. They showed how in Dana Pandan, weather index insurance forms a key component of a holistic solution to improve smallholders’ livelihoods. “Bundling individual solutions into one all-round package helps everybody in the agricultural value chain and strengthens the entire local economy”, explains Mori Prananto from our Agricultural Insurance Solutions team.

The forum concluded with the official signing of a Statement of Intent between SFSA and Bappenas. Together, we aim to build on Foundation experience, supporting the agency’s efforts to strengthen agricultural insurance. Work includes designing business models, stimulating the participation of all stakeholders, improving farmers’ image of insurance and using it as part of holistic farming policy.

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 (ACRE Africa) with operations in three countries, over 1.3 million farmers insured and an innovative range of micro-insurance products so far. SFSA’s Agricultural Insurance Solutions (AIS) Team is now using its experience to bring smart risk mitigation strategies to farmers in Asia. 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 insurance intermediary. We are not an insurance company but work with local insurers and other stakeholders. 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, flood, and erratic rains. Other examples include yield cover. 

Our upper photo of the shows (from l to r): Kholil, a farmer and shop-owner from Tulungagung, Jakub Nugraha, ACA’s Head of Microinsurance and Agriculture Insurance; Mori Prananto, SFSA Indonesia; Amar Jaya, Director of BPR Balongan; Siti Alimah, Manager of CU Rahayu and Warkim, a farmer from Indramayu