Woman smallholder farmer, Mambwe District, Zambia

Hear from women smallholder farmers about how digital microinsurance, together with digital agronomy tips can help them mitigate against climatic and other risks to their crops

“We are very happy knowing that whenever we face disasters, there is insurance to help us.”
– Woman smallholder farmer, Mambwe District, Zambia

Like millions of women smallholder farmers across Africa, the women in Mambwe in the Eastern Province of Zambia face a range of agricultural and climatic risks that can devastate their crops and livelihoods. However, despite representing nearly half of all farmers in Africa, women are less likely to be equipped with appropriate tools and knowledge to protect their crops and increase production.

With technical and financial support from the African Development Bank, via the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI(link is external)), Pula Advisors have been working with women farmers in Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia, using human centered research design to understand and develop valuable, appropriate and affordable digital microinsurance together with satellite technology and market insights.

Findings from the research confirmed that there are a number of barriers that women face in accessing digital financial tools. Most notably, these include lower digital and financial literacy, lack of training and awareness of insurance services, difficulty in accessing information on insurance products and services and lack of capital. In addition, some women are hindered by social norms that limit decision-making and interaction outside the home.

Through support from the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture and farmers groups, take-up in Zambia has reached over 1 million registrations, demonstrating the significant potential for farmers to improve crop production, build resilience and protect their livelihoods.

ADFI and Pula are working on gathering emerging insights across the 3 countries to share as valuable learning for scaling digital financial solutions for farmers in Africa and women smallholder farmers in particular.

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