Innovation for Africa Climate Risk Insurance

Farmer in Malawi checks on her struggling maize crop from the worst drought in three decades

A farmer in Malawi checks her maize crop which is struggling as a result of the worst drought in three decades.


The overarching objective of the Innovation for Africa Climate Risk Insurance, InACRI project, is to address the current poor performance and uptake of index-based crop insurance products in Kenya.

Although index insurances are in high regard as important risk mitigation measures in low-income agriculture, implementation and adoption of insurance schemes continues to face technical and operational challenges.

Index insurances are regarded as one of the most important risk mitigation measures in low-income agriculture, yet several technical and operational challenges hinder the widespread implementation and adoption of such insurance schemes.

Such challenges include uncertain and unreliable loss assessment processes, high basis risk, limited understanding and awareness among smallholder farmers around climate risk and risk transfer mechanisms, and limited information on crop insurance. 

To overcome these challenges, the project will develop and implement innovative solutions for improving the crop insurance index, improve product design, improve insurance communication strategies, support effective training and uptake of crop insurance.

The project will contribute to making the Kenyan agricultural sector more resilient against the challenges of weather extremes and climate change. In particular, the project will focus on:

  1. Developing an improved and reliable index-based crop insurance for maize in Kenya using state-of-the art crop, climate, and socio-economic models to minimize basis risk
  2. Developing and implementing an innovative product that covers a variety of farmer needs, reduces administrative and loss verification costs, and bases key operations such as claims processing on transparent and automated platforms
  3. Developing an effective communication strategy for index-based crop insurance products to enhance awareness and understanding of the insurance products among farmers and key stakeholders
  4. Developing and implementing an innovative, improved product design and infrastructure integrating digital technologies to enhance trust, increase uptake and reduce transaction costs for crop insurance

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Kassel University, Sprout, Mediae, and the Africa Climate Risk Enterprise (ACRE Africa) are undertaking the research and product development.

Key Project Activities

Some of the key activities untaken by the project include the following: 

  1. Farmer Needs Assessment 
  2. Lab in the field experiments
  3. Develop improved crop index for maize
  4. Pilot implementation and product validation
  5. Farmer training, communication and dissemination of materials

For more details, reach out to the project contact details provided below.