A Business Evaluation of the Sales and Distribution Model for Index-Based Livestock Insurance

“Developing the insurance product was the easy part. The tweaking, monitoring, and adapting – that has been much more complicated.” This, in essence, was what Cornell development economist Christopher Barrett informed us as we began discussing our upcoming Kenya research trip with him.

He was right. Since the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) formulated Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) ten years ago, the product has been lauded as a strategy to prevent drought-induced livestock losses among Kenyan and Ethiopian pastoralists. By combining satellite observations of forage conditions with longitudinal livestock mortality rates, it calculates clients’ seasonal payouts.

While by and large successful – and already showing evidence of positive impacts on pastoralists’ wellbeings – the rollout of IBLI has faced numerous challenges, as Takaful Insurance of Africa, IBLI’s current private sector partner, can attest.

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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.

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Largest-ever micro-insurance payout made to Ethiopian pastoralists

ILRI news

Pastoralist receive an indemnity payment after livestock losses More than 2,250 pastoralists received insurance payouts following the extremely poor rains this year in southern Ethiopia.

More than 2,250 pastoralists received insurance payouts following the extremely poor rains this year in southern Ethiopia. Low levels of rainfall have led to the loss of approximately 300,000 livestock in 2017 in the Borana zone of the southern Oromia region. The insurance payouts of more than ETB 5.233 million (USD 220,000) was the largest-ever micro-insurance indemnity made in Ethiopia. Each insured pastoralist received an average of ETB 2,255 (USD 96), which will allow the herders to purchase feeds for their surviving animals and to restock their herds.

Pastoralists in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia have been insured by an index-based livestock insurance (IBLI) scheme devised in 2008 by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and its technical partners at Cornell University and the University of California at Davis. The Ethiopian component of…

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Towards a robust national livestock market information system: Stakeholders convene to chart way forward

Sustainable livestock systems

Stakeholders workshop on livestock market information systems Participants at the stakeholders’ workshop on livestock market information system held on 11 July 2017 in Naivasha, Kenya (photo credit: ILRI/Dorine Odongo)

Access to accurate and timely market information among pastoralist livestock producers and market actors is a perennial concern, even more so following the immense emphasis and efforts placed on improving livestock production in drylands. Livestock production being the major (and in most cases the only) source of livelihoods for communities in the drylands of Kenya, the need to address the full continuum of livestock production from breeding all the way to market access cannot be overemphasized.

Consequently, many attempts are being made by different stakeholders —both governmental and non-governmental actors— to collect real time market information. For example, the livestock component of the USAID Feed the Future Kenya Accelerated Value Chain Development project (AVCD) which seeks to increase income from sales of livestock focuses on enhancing…

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