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jerryking : seeds   13

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
Why some see big potential in tiny farms - The Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders

Oxford, England — The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Apr. 12 2014,

TechnoServe, a long-established Washington-based non-profit whose 1,400 employees provide technical assistance to small developing-world farmers....Those small farmers don’t produce much food in part because they can’t afford to buy decent seeds and fertilizer. They can’t afford seeds or fertilizer because they can’t borrow money based on their future crop sales. And, Mr. Masha notes, that’s because lending them money can be so expensive: Interest rates on tiny loans are already, by definition, very high; add to that the cost of servicing loans across regions, and the considerable cost of hedging those loans against volatile developing-world currencies, and, he says, “you’ve priced them right out of the credit market.”

Banks and micro-credit agencies are also reluctant to lend because small farmers often have no collateral: Property ownership is ambiguous and few countries have small-claims courts to deal with defaults. (Brazil, an exception, owes a lot of its development success to the creation of such institutions.)

While the potential in these farms is huge, few want to take the risk of building agricultural supply and value chains in the developing world. Such investments take many years to generate returns, which tend to be very modest – rendering them uninteresting to corporations and venture capitalists, but increasingly appealing to Chinese state enterprises and a few people with local knowledge.
smallholders  farming  agriculture  size  scaling  Doug_Saunders  TechnoServe  poverty  tacit_data  supply_chains  value_chains  fertilizers  seeds  SOEs  China  interest_rates  microfinance  microlending  property_ownership  developing_countries  institutions 
april 2014 by jerryking
Protein - What is it? How Does One Get Enough?

Dairy products, soy products, nutritional yeast. sprouts, whole grains, nuts, seeds. legumes and vegetable.
Combining certain foods is helpful for obtaining maximum protein potential‘ As mentioned earlier, certain amino acids are supplied by the food we eat. They are known as "essential amino acids“ because they are the only 8 that the body cannot manufacture. Foods which contain those missing one or more of the amino acids are called incomplete proteins.
proteins  dairy  grains  seeds  legumes  vegetables  vegetarian  soybeans 
march 2012 by jerryking
In Kenya, Drought Insurance via Cell Phone -
May 9, 2011, 9:30 pm
Doing More Than Praying for Rain

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
weather  insurance  smallholders  microfinance  Africa  Kenya  risk-management  seeds  agriculture  farming  mobile_phones  crop_insurance 
may 2011 by jerryking
Heirloom Seeds or Flinty Hybrids?
March 24, 2011
gardening  heirloom  vegetables  seeds  hybrids 
march 2011 by jerryking
Grow your own goes organic
August 25, 2010 | Globe & Mail | DAVE MCGINN
gardening  vegetables  seeds  organic 
august 2010 by jerryking
You Say Tomato. They Say Phony. -
APRIL 21, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By ANNE MARIE
CHAKER. New Hybrids Promise Same Flavor, Less Fuss; Heirloom Lovers
tomatoes  gardening  vegetables  seeds  heirloom 
august 2010 by jerryking
For Old, Rare Plants, Gardeners Turn to Seed Exchanges -
FEBRUARY 10, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by ANNE MARIE CHAKER.
gardening  seeds 
february 2010 by jerryking
It's not too late to get seedy - The Globe and Mail
Gayla Trail

From Saturday's Globe and Mail, Wednesday, May. 20, 2009
Gayla_Trail  gardening  vegetables  seeds 
june 2009 by jerryking - Growing the zero-mile diet
May 23, 2008 Globe and Mail article by FIONA MORROW on cultivating your own veggies.
gardening  vegetables  seeds  food_crops  locavore 
january 2009 by jerryking

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