Updated on October 16, 2022


Created on July 18, 2019

ACRE Africa Weather Index Covers

Upcoming Update

ACRE Africa Weather Index Covers is a weather based index insurance program for smallholder farmers using mobile technologies.

Developed By Unknown

Product Description

ACRE Africa Weather Index Covers is the the largest agricultural insurance program in Africa and the first agricultural insurance program worldwide to reach smallholders using mobile technologies. It pays out benefits on the basis of a predetermined index (e.g. rainfall level) or loss of assets and investments resulting from weather and catastrophic events, without requiring the traditional services of insurance claims assessors.

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

The initial project Kilimo Salama was funded by Syngenta Foundation, and later evolved to a for profit company ACRE (Agriculture and Climate Risk Enterprise Ltd.).

Manufacturing/Building Method


Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Users can obtain the service by contacting ACRE Africa. Smallholder farmers need to provide physical location, acreage and the risks they would like to cover.

Distributions to Date Status

Cumulatively estimated 1.7mil to have been served across the target regions

Design Specifications

Mobile phone technology is essential for the service. M-PESA mobile banking system keeps index insurance premiums affordable for smallholder farmers. Farmers receive their index insurance policy numbers and premium receipts via SMS, and payouts likewise are sent electronically via M-PESA. The farmer is provided with a term sheet that indicates the technical features of the product indicating the parameters to be used to trigger a loss per crop stage. i.e the rainfall level that indicates a loss at either germination, vegetation, flowering, and maturity (dry down). Interview with representative The farmer enters a unique code to register for insurance. ACRE Africa monitors the weather at the farmer’s location. An insurance payment is triggered if the weather index indicates the occurrence of adverse weather conditions at the germination phase.

Technical Support

Replacement Components




Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Reduce the risk from adverse weather and thereby provide a safety net for farmers, promoting increased agricultural investment and improved livelihood

Vetted Performance Status

Syngenta claims that insured farmers earned 16% more income compared to their uninsured counterparts.



Complementary Technical Systems

Academic Research and References

Sibiko K.W., Veettil P.C. and Qaim M., 2018, Small Farmers’ Preferences for Weather Index Insurance: Insights from Kenya, Agriculture & Food Security, 7(53).

Greatrex H., Hansen J., Garvin S., Diro R., Blakeley S., Le Guen M., Rao K., and Osgood D., 2015, Scaling up Index Insurance for Smallholder Farmers: Recent Evidence and Insights, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, CCAFS Report No. 14, Copenhagen: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Wairimu E., Obare G. and Odendo M., 2016, Factors Affecting Weather Index-based Crop Insurance in Laikipia County, Kenya, Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, 8(7), pp. 111-121.

Tadesse M.A., Shiferaw B.A. and Erenstein O., 2015, Weather Index Insurance for Managing Drought Risk in Smallholder Agriculture: Lessons and Policy Implications for Sub-Saharan Africa, Agricultural and Food Economics, 3(26).

Sibiko, K. W., and Qaim, M., 2017, Weather Index Insurance, Agricultural Input Use, and Crop Productivity in Kenya, Global Food Discussion Papers, 94.

Johnson, L., 2013, Index Insurance and the Articulation of Risk-Bearing Subjects, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 45(11), pp. 2663-2681.

Carter, M., de Janvry, A., Sadoulet, E. and Sarris, A., 2017, Index Insurance for Developing Country Agriculture: a Reassessment, Annual Review of Resource Economics, 9, pp. 421-438.

Ntukamazina, N., Onwonga, R. N., Sommer, R., Rubyogo, J. C., Mukankusi, C. M., Mburu, J., and Kariuki, R., 2017, Index-based Agricultural Insurance Products: Challenges, Opportunities and Prospects for Uptake in sub-Sahara Africa, Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics, 118(2), pp. 171–185.

Hansen, J., Rose, A., and Hellin, J., 2017, Prospects for Scaling up the Contribution of Index Insurance to Smallholder Adaptation to Climate Risk, CCAFS Info Note.

Compliance with regulations


Other Information


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