International Conference on Financial Services (IFS) 2015: Agriculture and Mobile Financial Services
AGRICULTURE AND MOBILE
David Garrity, CFA; GVA Research LLC
DEFINING “DISASTER” IN CONTEXT
Natural (e.g. earthquake) vs. man-made
Anticipating future disasters through risk
The global poor are concentrated in
areas more subject to adverse climate
AGRICULTURE: A CRITICAL PAIN
POINT IN DEVELOPMENT
Crop yield growth lagging population growth.
1 in 3 work in agriculture worldwide.
Smallholders produce 80% of food consumed in
Loss of arable land to urbanization.
Climate volatility threatens accelerated erosion
of arable land.
Market price signals should not be ignored as
indicating persistent and emerging imbalance
that must be addressed.
CAPTIVE OF INFORMAL ECONOMY
Informal economy characterized by high
cost of capital which promotes need to self-
Lack of insurance leads to under-planting by
Important to establish access to lower cost
of capital through insurance.
Insurance necessity underscored as mass
crop failures more likely with increased
MOBILE DATA ENABLING
INSURANCE & CREDIT EXTENSION
Caller Data Records (CDR): Basis for
effective customer segmentation.
Segmentation: critical basis for extending
Accurate risk-based pricing supports
sustainable business models.
Best practices for managing credit risk:
Origination credit scoring system employing CDR and
Management system to rank agents dynamically for
Automated customer management system.
Enhanced mobile client interface allowing real-time
MOBILE OPERATORS: ACTIVE IN
Expanding mobile coverage supports
wide-scale deployment of mobile micro-
MMI deployment aimed at maximizing
revenue per user and customer
Prepaid account arrangements imply
low risk to mobile network operators
AGRICULTURE: INSURANCE DEPENDS
Technology available to support wide-
spread deployment of index-based
At present, weather index based insurance
products are superior to area-yield based
insurance products for implementation.
Technology advances in monitoring &
evaluation (e.g. drones) may allow
normalized difference vegetation index
(NVDI) insurance products to replace
weather index based insurance.
INDEX INSURANCE DEPLOYMENT
AT SCALE: KILIMO SALAMA
Kilimo Salama (“safe farming”) – First micro-
insurance product distributed and
implemented via mobile phone network.
Technologies: mobile phone, solar-powered
computerized weather stations.
PPP Model: Sygenta (agribusiness),
Safaricom (MNO), UAP (insurance), Int’l
Finance Corp. (World Bank Group).
Policy payouts disbursed by mobile money
at end of growing season based on weather
KILIMO SALAMA: POSITIVE
OUTCOMES AT SCALE
200 farmers (2009 launch) => 185K (2013) =>
One country at launch (Kenya) => three
countries now (Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania).
Insured farmers invested 19% more than
uninsured peers and earned 16% more
95% of insured farmers had loans linked to
In 2012, over 30K farmers could access
$5.5MM in loans due to insurance coverage.
KILIMO SALAMA: LESSONS LEARNED
Customer trust must be established and
sustained for program to succeed.
Immediacy of policy payouts necessary
to keep client trust.
Importance of agent network to support
service deployment and operation.
Offer farmers a package (i.e. seed,
fertilizer, financing) plus insurance.
TOWARDS A MODEL OF COMMERCIALLY
CDR data access to enable analysis and
allow offering of affordable MMI.
Bundle MMI with credit products, do not
offer as stand-alone product.
Use technology to reduce risk.
Focus on establishing solid trustworthy agent
Require supportive governmental
environment to allow for development and
operation of mobile as channel for financial
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST
June 2015 publication
“Technology for Development:
What is Essential?” (Springer
Chapter 5: Mobile Financial
Services in Disaster Relief: