Nelly Bassily | November 23, 2009
The livestock insurance program described in this week’s news story is an example of microinsurance. According to Wikipedia, microinsurance refers to insurance characterized by low premiums or low coverage limits, and designed to serve low-income people and businesses not covered by typical social or commercial insurance schemes.
Crop or livestock microinsurance can mean extra security for small-scale farmers and pastoralists at a time when climate change and other unpredictable circumstances could cause devastating losses.
In an opinion piece in the African Executive (“From microfinance to microinsurance – The quiet revolution” http://www.africanexecutive.com/modules/magazine/articles.php?article=2940), microfinance trainer and consultant Charles G. Njoroge explains that “the concept of microinsurance can no longer be swept under the carpet. The active poor have money, businesses, property and lives to be secured. The future of business is in linking with the common man…. Working with the poor and making money with the poor as they fight their poverty will be the largest growth industry of the future.”
One way to enrich a radio program on microinsurance is to contact the microinsurance company in your area with questions from local farmers. Interact with farmers in your listening audience by hosting a call-in or text-in show which directs their questions to the microinsurance company representative during a live studio interview.
Further examples of agricultural microinsurance can be found in the following articles:
-”Farmers hedge their bets” (Spore magazine, a publication of CTA, October 2008):http://spore.cta.int/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=617&catid=8
-“ Rwanda: Insurance to boost agricultural sector” (Focus Media): http://allafrica.com/stories/200806161309.html
-“Uganda: Microinsurance schemes to help farmers deal with unforeseen circumstances” (FRW #56, February 2009): http://weekly.farmradio.org/?p=745