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How satellites and insurance are securing livestock in East Africa

In many parts of East Africa livestock provide the livelihoods for many herders and pastoralists who, especially with climate change on the rise, are often faced with severe threats from droughts

A particularly bad drought could wipe out most of a herders livestock, leaving them without a source of food or income and with little recourse. It’s a problem that inspired Andrew Mude and his colleagues to launch Index-Based Livestock Insurance, a technology-enabled insurance program to protect herders against the devastating effects of drought.

Developed in partnership with International Livestock Research Institute, Cornell University and University of California Davis, IBLI uses data gathered by satellite to create a vegetation index that can be used to track the density of vegetation available to pastoralists. When the available food for livestock falls below an agreed upon threshold, it indicates there is a drought and the IBLI program compensates herders and pastoralists if they suffer a loss.

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