The SUM-Africa project provides low-cost satellite based drought insurance services to smallholder farmers in Mali and Uganda. By teaming up with Planet Guarantee in Mali and Agriculture Reinsurance Consultants in Uganda we aim to use satellite technology to improve food security and financial inclusion in developing countries.
What it does
USD 300 billion annually and accounting for nearly a quarter of the continent’s GDP. Of the millions of smallholder farmers across the continent, less than 1% has insurance protection against agricultural risks. Insurance products geared towards smallholders exist, but have not been able to reach scale because of three main challenges:
- Affordability (cost of insurance)
- Access to insurance
- Awareness (financial literacy) Importantly, achieving the goals of building sustainable livelihoods for millions of farmers, and implementing sustainable commercial models actually depends on insurance products reaching scale. The main question is how we can overcome these barriers and turn the need for protection into demand and implementation of microinsurance protections. Blockchain technology provides new possibilities to solve key bottlenecks. In a high volume, low insurance premiums environment, a fully automated indexbased insurance product is required. Through smart contracts, blockchain allows automated translation of satellite data to the right to claim, as well as automated and transparent execution of insurance processes such as policy issuance, claims verification and payment. Automation also reduces the cost of insurance, improves access to insurance products through mobile or feature phones, and offers a good customer experience through swift payouts.
How we built itWe
Blockapps, Testrpc, Azure Ehterum blockchain, Solidity, Remix, MetaMask.
Challenges we ran into
Solidity versioning issue, Oraclize is difficult to make it work. The Blockchain development tool ecosystems are still fragmented with challenges in interoperability and compatibility.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Got a good understanding of the business and operational challenges.
- Learned about all different Ethereum IDE's, experimented them and made somehow make some elements of a very complex challenge work.
What we learned
Agriculture micro-insurance landscape in Africa and challenges. What is needed for applying blockchain to the micro-insurance challenge.
What's next for SwissRE Insurance
The future vision of our product includes a full disintermediation of the insurance purchasing process, directly connecting the farmer with the insurer, with all applicable processes integrating smart contracts.