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jerryking : crop_insurance   25

He Grew Up on a Farm. Now, He Helps Protect Them.
Oct. 3, 2019 | The New York Times | By Norman Mayersohn.

Books: Warren Buffett biography, “Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist,”

Few livelihoods offer as many paths to failure as agriculture. Throughout history, farmers have been at the mercy of nature — be it weather, pests or crop diseases — even as the survival of people and livestock depended on their success...... Thomas Njeru, is a co-founder and the chief financial officer of Pula, a four-year-old microinsurance firm that serves 1.7 million smallholder farms of 0.6 acres or less in 10 African countries and India. Microinsurance — think of it as an offshoot of the microloan programs that kick-start businesses in impoverished areas — provides protection for low-income individuals who do not have access to conventional coverage....Pula, based in Nairobi, Kenya, partners with government agencies and loan providers to cover the cost of the insurance, which is included in the price of seed and fertilizer; there is no direct charge to the farmer. Among the coverages Pula provides is weather index insurance to cover failures of seed germination, using satellite data to determine whether there has been sufficient rainfall. Longer-term coverage, called yield index insurance, compensates farmers with replacement supplies in the event of a poor harvest......People in Africa don't invest in agriculture because the chance of them losing their money due to the vagaries of the weather is huge.........Pula’s mission is to give farmers confidence by providing risk mitigation. Our solutions protect a farmer’s investment by pairing it with insurance. We build business cases to persuade Fortune 500 companies, seed and fertilizer suppliers, lending institutions, and governments in Africa, that embedded insurance will help deliver better results for both businesses and food security....The sad reality is that farmers are one drought or one disease outbreak away from sliding into absolute poverty......the penetration of agriculture insurance in Africa is less than 1 percent. The reason is that insurance companies’ business models are not set up to serve the unique needs of smallholder farmers......scaling Pula’s business model to the point that insured seed and fertilizer become ubiquitous in the market......The average annual insurance premium per farmer is about $3 to $5. This includes the cost of product development, pricing, underwriting, claim adjustment and, of course, the claim costs. We use artificial intelligence, mobile-based registration systems, remote sensing and automation tools...Agriculture insurance is a cemetery of pilots and trials..
Africa  agriculture  behavioral_change  books  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  crop_insurance  farming  insurance  Kenya  low-income  microfinance  mobile_applications  poverty  precarious  Pula  seeds  smallholders  start_ups  risks  risk-mitigation  Warren_Buffett  weather 
october 2019 by jerryking
Silicon Valley Big Data Startup Bought for $930M by ... Monsanto? -
October 2, 2013 Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD Liz Gannes - News - AllThingsD.

Climate Corporation had built a network of insurance sellers for both crop insurance and weather insurance, and offered Web and mobile tools for farmers so they could make decisions about how to do their work. It has thousands of customers with many millions of acres in the U.S.
Monsanto  Climate_Corporation  Silicon_Valley  analytics  farming  agriculture  crop_insurance  weather  insurance 
january 2014 by jerryking
Why Monsanto Spent $1 Billion on Climate Data - Modern Farmer
By Dan Mitchell on October 2, 2013

Climate Corporation doesn’t limit itself to weather data. As politicians, pundits, and people on the Internet continue to argue over whether climate change is real, the insurance industry has for years been operating under the assumption that it is. So Climate Corporation uses data from major climate-change models — the very ones that are under constant assault by doubters — in its calculations.

Climate Corporation manages an eye-popping 50 terabytes of live data, all at once. Besides climate-change models, data is collected from regular old weather forecasts and histories, soil observations, and other sources. The company collects data from 2.5 million separate locations. Given these numbers, it shouldn’t be surprising that Climate Corporation is basically alone in this market. The barriers to entry are immense.

The company makes use of “machine learning” —a kind of artificial intelligence. That’s the technology behind, for example, determining which of your incoming email messages are spam —except in this case the tech is much, much more sophisticated. Each new bit of data that’s entered into the system — rainfall in Douglas County Nebraska, say, or the average heat index in Louisiana’s Winn Parish —helps it learn, and more accurately forecast what will happen in the future.
Monsanto  Climate_Corporation  weather  crop_insurance  insurance  massive_data_sets  data_driven  machine_learning  artificial_intelligence 
october 2013 by jerryking
Angst over apples
May 1, 2012 | Owen Sound Sun Times | By Paul Jankowski.
apples  agriculture  Ontario  farming  fruits  crop_insurance 
august 2012 by jerryking
How big data will help manage a world of 7 billion people — Cleantech News and Analysis
3. The Climate Corporation. Formerly called WeatherBill, the now renamed Climate Corporation uses big data tools to offer analytics and reports to the agriculture industry, and also sells a weather insurance product to farmers, to help protect them from losses from extreme weather events. The world has seen a rise in extreme weather events, partly do to a change in climate, and farmers can expect more of this unpredictability going forward. Combined with more unpredictable weather, food prices will likely rise as the population grows and usable land becomes constrained, particularly in developing countries.
Weatherbill  Climate_Corporation  massive_data_sets  weather  agriculture  farming  insurance  crop_insurance  climate_change 
may 2012 by jerryking
Insuring against climate : Nature News
22 July 2009 | Nature 460, 442-443 (2009) | doi:10.1038/460442a

News
Insuring against climate

Negotiators push for policies to help weather natural disasters.

Jeff Tollefson
climate_change  farming  insurance  crop_insurance  Ethiopia  natural_calamities 
april 2012 by jerryking
Climate Feedback: A new adaptation tool: climate insurance : Climate Feedback
22 Jul 2009 | 15:54 BST | Posted by Jeff Tollefson.

climate insurance is by no means a magic bullet. But clearly the tools of modern finance could certainly help make poor nations prepare for and respond to all manner of natural disasters big and small.

We explore some of these ideas in this week’s issue of Nature, taking a quick look at how the insurance debate is playing out in the ongoing United Nations climate talks. The upshot is that some kind of insurance mechanism is likely to make it into whatever climate deal is struck in Copenhagen and beyond.

One commonly cited option is index insurance, which is tied to things like rainfall that can be measured objectively. This cuts down on costs by eliminating the need for audits and investigations. In the case of something like crop insurance, moreover, it could put money in the hands of farmers immediately after the rains fail – and before the hunger sets in....Today these programs are being paid for largely by the farmers and nations buying the insurance, but industrialized nations would likely subsidize any insurance program deployed as part of an international climate agreement. The logic is that extreme weather variations – including droughts and heavy storms – are likely to increase in a warmer world, which means that both costs and premiums will rise as well.

A key challenge moving forward is how to scale up programs that benefit the world’s poorest farmers and communities. Dan Osgood, a researcher at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society, points out the pilot programs that are under way today have generally been deployed in areas where information – regarding weather, crops and the like – is available. This means it will only get more difficult moving forward....Osgood says the insurance question could also increase pressure on scientists and insurance companies to tease out the long-term impacts of global warming at very local scales.
insurance  crop_insurance  climate_change  natural_calamities  data  farming  poverty  hyperlocal  indices  microtargeting  audits  pilot_programs 
april 2012 by jerryking
Insurers Claim Global Warming Makes Some Regions Too Hot to Handle
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=insurers-claim-global-warming-makes-some-uninsurable


August 1, 2007 | : Scientific American | By Victoria Schlesinger and Meredith Knight.


As the nation braces for an active hurricane season, private insurers jump ship, leaving federal and state governments liable for ever increasing payouts
insurance  natural_calamities  crop_insurance 
april 2012 by jerryking
“Mining” Groundwater in India Reaches New Lows
Mason Inman

for National Geographic News

Published December 31, 2010
water  India  crop_insurance 
april 2012 by jerryking
Texting Program Helps African Farmers Fight Drought
Ochieng' Ogodo in Nairobi

for National Geographic News

Published October 29, 2010
text_messages  crop_insurance  Kenya  farming  agriculture  insurance 
april 2012 by jerryking
Setting the Organic Standard
Setting the Organic Standard
Environment News Service Email 03.08.00
crop_insurance 
april 2012 by jerryking
Crop insurance volatile but profitable
Crop insurance volatile but profitable - S&P. Reactions, 09535640, Dec2011
crop_insurance  EBSCOhost 
april 2012 by jerryking
Big Data in the Dirt (and the Cloud) - NYTimes.com
By QUENTIN HARDY
| October 11, 2011

“We took 60 years of crop yield data, and 14 terabytes of information on soil types, every two square miles for the United States, from the Department of Agriculture,” says David Friedberg, chief executive of the Climate Corporation, a name WeatherBill started using Tuesday. “We match that with the weather information for one million points the government scans with Doppler radar — this huge national infrastructure for storm warnings — and make predictions for the effect on corn, soybeans and winter wheat.”

The product, insurance against things like drought, too much rain at the planting or the harvest, or an early freeze, is sold through 10,000 agents nationwide.
massive_data_sets  weather  insurance  WeatherBill  agriculture  farming  crop_insurance  Climate_Corporation 
february 2012 by jerryking
In Kenya, Drought Insurance via Cell Phone - NYTimes.com
May 9, 2011, 9:30 pm
Doing More Than Praying for Rain
By TINA ROSENBERG

Farming an acre of grain with nothing more than a strong back and a hoe
has always been precarious, but now more so than ever, because of
climate change....Small farmers around the world need many different
things to help them survive climate change: seeds resistant to extreme
weather and pests, cheap irrigation systems, and better agricultural
infrastructure, such as more feeder roads. But one thing that can help
small farmers now is insurance....Weather insurance for small farmers
has always faced numerous barriers. But throughout east Africa today
there are projects finding creative and innovative ways to overcome
them.
weather  insurance  smallholders  microfinance  Africa  Kenya  risk-management  seeds  agriculture  farming  mobile_phones  crop_insurance 
may 2011 by jerryking
Microinsurance: Security for shillings | The Economist
Microinsurance
Security for shillings
Insuring crops with a mobile phone

Mar 11th 2010 | From The Economist print edition
microfinance  Africa  insurance  agriculture  farming  mobile_phones  crop_insurance  smallholders 
march 2010 by jerryking
STRICTLY BUSINESS; Finding Profits in Risks of Weather - The New York Times
By DOUGLAS MARTIN
Published: Monday, December 28, 1992 ... four-year-old company based
in Great Neck, L.I., he insures against effects of the weather on
businesses and individuals around the world.

Clients range from film companies that insure against either rain or
shine to orange growers worried about early frosts to hydroelectric
projects fearful of droughts to people who dread rain on weekend
retreats in the Hamptons. He has underwritten everything from bullfights
in Spain to state fairs in South Dakota.
weather  insurance  crop_insurance 
november 2009 by jerryking

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