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“The Insurance Works!” A story told by Jacinta Mutuse

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Jacinta at her maize farm / Cr: ACRE Africa
“The Insurance Works!” A story told by Jacinta Mutuse

ACRE Africa, a GIIF partner in East Africa, is a microinsurance product designer that helps foster equity, fairness, and innovation in the agricultural sector. As farmers in the region experience changing weather conditions, with delayed rain and more frequent incidents of drought, ACRE Africa engages stakeholders along the agricultural value chain and advises insurers on the development and distribution of low-cost insurance to protect smallholders’ investments.

The following story is told by one of the beneficiaries of ACRE Africa. Jacinta Mutuse is a 36-year old farmer and the mother of one. She and her daughter live and work in Makueni, Kenya.

 

The Insurance Works!” A story told by Jacinta Mutuse

“When the money came through on my phone via M-Pesa[1], I was sure it was a mistake. I was sure that someone had erroneously sent me money. So I waited for the sender to call me and demand that I return it,” says Jacinta Mutuse, a farmer from Wote, Makueni County.

Jacinta had just received about KES900 (US$9) through the Replanting Guarantee (RPG) Weather Index Insurance Product. The RPG covers the risk of poor rainfall that necessitates the replanting of crops. ACRE Africa monitors the weather at each farmer’s location. An insurance payment is triggered if the weather index indicates the occurrence of adverse weather conditions during the germination phase.

That is how Jacinta received her automatic payout. About a month earlier, she had purchased 10 bags of Duma 43 maize packets from her local agrovet (a shop where farmers purchase agricultural and veterinary products). When she learned about the insurance that was available, attached to the seed packet, she was a little skeptical.  However, she still registered for the insurance and planted her seeds over the next few weeks. She initially planted two bags: then, after a few weeks, she planted the remaining eight bags. The adverse weather conditions registered on the days she had planted the first two bags. 

“When no call came through after I received the money, I called ACRE Africa’s customer care. I was then informed that the money was not a mistake. I was very excited! I was also very happy to get the money without having to contact anyone,” Jacinta says.

Timely claim settlement allows farmers to quickly purchase replacement bags of seeds, so as not to miss the entire planting season.

Jacinta opted to meet other household needs with the money she received.

“I paid a debt with the money,” she says. “Since it was not still raining in my village, I did not buy another packet of seed,” she explains. “This reimbursement helped me so that I did not have to go through a double loss when the rains failed.” 

Jacinta also grows beans, green gram, oranges, and vegetables on her three-acre piece of land. She is mostly engaged in subsistence farming: when she has extra produce, she sells it at the nearby Wote market.

“I will buy the Duma 43 in the next planting season, because the seed retains moisture and gives me higher yields, compared to traditional seed,” she says. “I encourage my fellow farmers to buy Duma seeds because they are guaranteed a payout if the rains fail. The insurance works!” 

 

For more stories like Jacinta's, please visit: https://acreafrica.com/

[1] M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service launched in 2007 by Vodafone for Safaricom and Vodacom, the largest mobile network operators in Kenya and Tanzania.