Livestock insurance can help herders break the cycle of drought, poverty, and hunger, says a leading scientist. For developing livestock insurance for herders in East Africa’s drylands, Andrew Mude was awarded the 2016 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application from The World Food Prize Foundation.
Mr. Mude is a principal economist at the International Livestock Research Institute, or ILRI, based in Nairobi. He said, “When a drought hits, you minimize the impact…. Households can use the indemnities [insurance payments] to try and protect livestock from dying.”
Sixteen thousand Kenyan households have benefited from ILRI’s insurance scheme, which pays herders when rains fail, thus avoiding the scenario where they are simply waiting for their animals to die. Compensation is calculated based on comparing current forage levels with historical information.
Mr. Mude says households with insurance are less likely to sell their livestock when prices are low during droughts.
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Photo credit: REUTERS/Siegfried Modola