What if there was a solution to help farmers take the guesswork out of what to plant in their fields and how to optimally nourish it based on the soil nutrient profile? This is precisely what Omishtu-Joy is providing to smallholders in Ethiopia. Omishtu-Joy, which means “Joy of the Farmer” in Afaan Oromo (a native Ethiopian dialect), has developed a soil testing device that uses artificial intelligence (AI)-powered sensors to measure different soil parameters. These soil fertility parameters include pH levels, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous, humidity, radiation, temperature and soil
Nairobi, Kenya, March 8, 2022 – The Global Index Insurance Facility (GIIF), launched a competition for technology-led enterprises in Africa to offer innovative solutions for agriculture and inclusive insurance and announced 3 top winners: Omishtu-Joy (Ethiopia), Rural Farmers Hub (Nigeria), and AgroTech+ (Kenya). Powered by Sankalp Forum, the Africa AgTech & Inclusive Insurance Challenge aimed to celebrate and support young entrepreneurs who are working at the intersection of agriculture, insurance, climate, and gender to build resilience for rural populations. The Challenge offered an
R4 – Rural Resilience Initiative
The core objective of the project is to build the resilience of food-insecure smallholders through an integrated risk management approach which includes weather index insurance, assets creation, credit and savings interventions, and climate services.
Rural Resilience  Enhancement Project  in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
The core objective of the project to contribute to enhancing the resilience for people dwelling in drought prone areas such as southern parts of Oromia region and Somali region through a series of surveys/ studies and implementation of pilot projects.
Using Satellites to Make Index Insurance Scalable
The core objective of the project is to understand where the index-based insurance is functioning well and where it must be improved to provide outputs potentially valuable for index insurance mechanisms, applications, and reliable scalability.
After Low Rainfall, African Smallholder Farmers Get Payouts of US$1.5 Milllion
Poor rainfall in parts of Africa has triggered the largest insurance payout to date for smallholder farmers under the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative (R4), a program launched by the World Food Programme (WFP) and Oxfam America in 2011. African farmers will receive insurance payments totaling US$1.5 million to compensate for weather-related crop losses in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Senegal, and Zambia, Reliefweb reports, according to a WFP press release.
Thomson Reuters Foundation: As Drought Bites, Livestock Insurance Aids Pastoralists in Ethiopia
Ethiopian pastoralists have received payouts for index-based livestock insurance offered by a local insurance company, Thomson Reuters Foundation reports. In Ethiopia, livestock insurance schemes were initiated by the International Livestock Research Institute, which has been providing technical support for the design and monitoring of the index in the country, the report adds.
Climate Insurance: Hot Prospect for Ethiopia
Tens of thousands of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia have benefited from the country's first weather index insurance payment to cover the loss for the previous year's crop failure due to El Nino, AllAfrica reports. The weather index insurance payouts of 2.6 million birr were part of the pilot insurance initiative supported by UNDP, the Global Environment Facility, the country's Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Scaling up index insurance for smallholder farmers: Recent evidence and insights
This report explores evidence and insights from five case studies that have made significant recentprogress in addressing the challenge of insuring poor smallholder farmers and pastoralists in thedeveloping world. In India, national index insurance programmes have reached over 30 million farmersthrough a mandatory link with agricultural credit and strong government support. In East Africa (Kenya,Rwanda and Tanzania), the Agriculture and Climate Risk Enterprise (ACRE) has recently scaled to reachnearly 200,000 farmers, bundling index insurance with agricultural credit and farm inputs. ACRE
Sophia Belay, Manager – R4 Rural Resilience Initiative, talks about increasing awareness of index insurance among farmers