ILRI-Backed Adaptation Insurance Programme Pays Herders in Kenya

21 October 2011: The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has reported that the first payments for the index-based livestock insurance programme piloted in Kenya's Marsabit District have been provided to 650 insured herders.

The system is based on satellite image analysis that shows grazing land deterioration. The programme is a partnership of the ILRI, international donors, public institutions and private companies.

The satellite records estimate that up to 30% of of the livestock have died in the current drought. Based on the agreement, insured herders receive payouts for loses in excess of a 15% deductible. ILRI stresses that drought insurance is one of a number of ways to reduce risk in addition to access to grazing and watering areas. Despite the payouts, the impact on livelihoods of the programme is still uncertain as the use of the compensation has not yet been tracked. It is still unclear whether livestock insurance will be commercially viable in East Africa, or whether it will need to continue to be subsidized by donor funds. ILRI is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [ILRI Press Release]