In Africa, agricultural insurance often falls on stony ground

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JACKSON LEWANGU looks up at the clouds scudding above the dry plains of northern Kenya. And, somewhere higher still, a satellite looks down on him. Since 2012 Mr Lewangu, who keeps goats and cattle, has bought insurance designed by the International Livestock Research Institute, based in Nairobi. The satellite monitors vegetation; when it is unusually scarce, he gets a payout. He can then buy food for his animals or pay a rancher for access to grazing land, without which his cows would die.

Insurance could bring peace of mind to Africa’s pastoralists. It could also help the continent’s crop farmers, whose fields are almost entirely rain-fed. But Mr Lewangu’s neighbours are unconvinced. The satellite gives false information, says one woman; there is no payout in good years, complains another. Such scepticism is typical. Although schemes have proliferated in the past decade, almost all are…

Post Author: martin

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Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BriefNews.eu and PCHealthBoost.info Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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