Drylands

Using radio to builds herders’ trust in livestock insurance in Isiolo County

The Kenya Livestock Insurance Program (KLIP) insures the livestock of pastoralists in the arid and semi-arid counties of Kenya. Implemented with technical assistance from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), KLIP limits livestock losses through early compensation allowing pastoralists to protect their assets. Payouts are pegged to measurements of forage conditions made via satellite data on vegetation cover to derive an index of seasonal forage availability/scarcity. Once payouts are triggered, registered pastoralists in the affected areas are eligible for compensation.

Read this post by the Thompson Reuters Foundation on how radio is being used to build pastoralists’ trust in livestock insurance in Kenya’s Isiolo County.

 

Livestock insurance gains ground in Africa

Governments across Africa are looking to protect pastoralists from the impacts of extreme weather with livestock insurance programs. But what works?

Pastoralists live precarious lives with extreme weather, such as drought, posing a potentially fatal threat to livestock – often pastoralists’ only asset and income source. To buffer livestock keepers from these risks, insurance schemes such as the Kenya Livestock Insurance Programme (KLIP), introduced by the government in July 2014, are starting to have an impact. As a result, the World Bank and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which both helped to develop the program, have received enquiries from countries – including Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe – that are looking to introduce their own livestock insurance schemes.

But, what do these countries need to bear in mind in order to develop their own sustainable livestock insurance scheme?

Read the full article in Spore Magazine

Crowdsourcing: an approach to revolutionize and improve rangeland monitoring

Crowdsourcing, which is outsourcing work to an undefined and often large group of people, is an innovative data collection approach that could be exploited to provide information on rangelands forage conditions to improve rangeland management programs.

http://hdl.handle.net/10568/89002

A recent study by the Crowdsourcing for Rangeland Conditions project—implemented through a collaboration between the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Cornell University and the University of Sydney—applied a crowdsourcing approach to collect detailed information on forage conditions in northern Kenya.

For more than a decade, the satellite-based advanced very-high-resolution radiometer (AVHRR) sensor has been in use. It provided daily time series of normalized differences vegetation index (NDVI) data from across the earth. However, the resolution is inadequate to distinguish between plant species and the palatability of the vegetation.

The study showed that crowdsourcing can be used to seal gaps in the AVHRR method by using digital technology and local knowledge to gather low-cost and near real-time data on vegetation type, palatability and carrying capacity to improve existing forage models relying on remotely sensed data.

Researchers in this study used crowdsourcing to collect accurate, low-cost and real-time data on rangeland conditions. According to the findings, the approach has the potential to revolutionize and improve the process of rangeland monitoring and could be used by the National Drought Management Authority to validate and expand their existing monitoring systems.

Findings from this study could also be used to calibrate the index used by the ILRI-led Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) project.

Download the brief 

Record payouts being made by Kenya Government and insurers to protect herders facing historic drought

ILRI news

klip_cropped02From left to right: Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); Andrew Tuimur, principal secretary in Kenya’s State Department of Livestock; and Willy Bett, cabinet secretary for the Kenya Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries during a press conference held on 20 Feb 2017 announcing payments to more than 12,000 pastoral households under the Kenya Livestock Insurance Program (KLIP) (photo credit: ILRI/Dorine Odongo).

More than Ksh214 million is on tap for 12,000 pastoral households in six counties of northern Kenya through innovative policies that use satellite imagery to trigger payments for feed, veterinary supplies and water.

As an epic drought desiccates fields and forages in the Horn of Africa, Government of Kenya officials, in partnership with Kenyan insurers, today announced payments to over 12,000 pastoral households under a breakthrough livestock insurance plan—one that uses satellites to monitor vegetation available to livestock and triggers assistance for feed, veterinary medicines and even…

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For pioneering livestock index insurance, World Food Prize Award honors World Bank grantee

This past October, Andrew Mude of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) received the World Food Prize International Symposium’s top honor — the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application — for his work on developing livestock index insurance in the lowlands of East Africa.

Mude’s award highlights the crucial role innovative financial solutions play in protecting cattle farming against climate disruptions, which pose a serious threat to the livelihoods of African herders and consumers. Financial instruments, such as index insurance schemes, serve as shock absorbers for the vulnerable in building resilience and adaptation to climate, according to the ‘Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape’ (A2R) initiative unveiled at COP21 last year.

Food security and resilience-building have become central in the international development community’s efforts to help developing countries and vulnerable populations manage climate change. Read more

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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