Texting Program Helps African Farmers Fight Drought
Micro-insurance cushions farmers against weather-related crop losses.
The African micro-insurance provider, UAP, sent Gathoni a U.S. $29 payment for loss of her harvest due to drought that year. (See flood, drought, and climate change pictures.)
Gathoni is one of the more than 9,500 Kenyan farmers who have "micro-insured" themselves under a new program that assesses crop loss—and subsequent payments—based on climatic data from solar-powered weather stations.
Launched in 2009, Kilimo Salama—a Swahili phrase that means "safe farming"—gives small-scale farmers in Kenya "pay as you plant" insurance, so that if they lose their harvest they can still afford to farm the next season.
(Read how a "great green wall" may help African farmers displaced by drought.)
Gathoni, a mother of one and caretaker of two orphans, has farmed