NEW YORK, Aug. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Micro Insurance Company (MIC) and Lofte Kesho are partnering to offer digital solutions to livestock farmers in an effort to improve their economic well-being. Lofte Kesho, an integrated FinTech and AgriTech player, was created to help farmers collateralize animals as assets for financial benefits such as loans, working capital, cow replacement loans, and investment loans. They have also created unique systems for animal identification as well as the process of tokenizing animals using blockchain.
Lofte Kesho is partnering with Micro Insurance Company in an effort to strengthen their mission of helping farmers to unlock the financial benefits associated with their livestock. By partnering with MIC, farmers will now be able to insure their livestock, which gives them access to credit opportunities – as they will now be able to use their insured livestock as collateral. This will help improve the financial state for many farmers. Furthermore, MIC is also offering a life and hospitalization cover to the middle and low segment Livestock farmers to safeguard them against many of the risks they face, so when the unexpected happens, they are able to bounce back swiftly.
Ms. Wairimu Njoki, Country Manager, Micro Insurance Company, says:
“We are pleased to be partnering with Lofte Kesho as they improve the inclusivity of livestock farmers for enhanced access to financial solutions. Farmers have always held assets through their livestock but are often locked out of financial access because historically, financial institutions have not considered livestock as a good form of security. By MIC insuring farmers’ livestock, it has enabled financial institutions to get on board with accepting livestock as a secure asset, and thus, feel confident in accepting it as collateral.”
Bernard Njathi, Co-Founder of Lofte Kesho, says:
“Our farmers are faced with multiple challenges. According to the World Bank, by the year 2050, food demand will increase by 70%. So what does this really mean? We need to support our farmers – both our Crop and Livestock farmers. This is why Lofte Kesho Kenya Limited acknowledges that our livestock farmers are not necessarily poor but lack a supportive ecosystem that properly promotes and unlocks animal identification, valuation, insurance and animal collateralized loans. As a result, Lofte Kesho is excited to partner with Micro Insurance Company to further our aim of providing value-added services to livestock farmers in the areas of animal health, nutrition, and productivity. Our partnership with MIC will further enhance our ability to offer peace of mind to livestock farmers.”
MIC and Lofte Kesho join forces to address both the financial and insurance inclusivity against the marginalized – using the FarmTrek platform as a route to access these services. This partnership combines Lofte Kesho’s knowledge of livestock along with MIC’s expertise in product design to ensure optimal product consideration and adjusted premiums.
About Lofte Kesho
Founded in 2018 with headquarters in Kenya, Lofte Kesho is an integrated FinTech and AgriTech player offering an animal identification and traceability platform. In partnership with InfoCorp Technologies, Lofte Kesho has rolled out FarmTrek, a solution that brings inclusive financial services to the livestock industry in emerging markets via its blockchain-based platform. Lofte Kesho works with smallholder farmers to unlock financial benefits associated with their animals.
About Micro Insurance Company
Micro Insurance Company (MIC) is a global insurance platform delivering technology, underwriting, policy management, and distribution. MIC provides insurance to platforms, micro & small businesses, and to the 4 billion people on the planet that are currently unserved. Whereas most insurtechs seek to improve existing monoline products and markets, we follow the concept of straight through processing. We do this in order to create highly relevant insurance products that we can offer globally at a very low cost via our platform to support people in their local communities. Micro Insurance Company is the world’s first global end-to-end digital microinsurance platform that combines reinsurance capacity, in-country insurance licenses, world class distribution, and market leading AI functionality.
Lofte Kesho held a stakeholders meeting in the county to Narok to address matters such as animal identification, livestock insurance and loans against the animals. Modern ear tagging is highly encouraged as it prevents the harsh markings on the animals’ skin which reduces the quality of the skin.
The pastoralists’ community in Narok County has been asked to keep proper records of their animals that can be used as collateral to borrow loans in a bid to improve their livelihood.
Despite the County being a pastoral region endowed with over four (4) million cattle, goats and sheep, the livestock keepers have no records with them, making it difficult for them to access loans or benefit from insurance companies.
The County Agriculture and Livestock Chief Officer (CO), Dr. David ole Letuati, the farmers have hundreds of livestock that can guarantee them a large amount of loan from financial institutions, however, lack of proper records is a huddle to enable them process the loan.
He spoke, Wednesday, during a meeting with Lofte Kesho Limited that deals with financing of smallholder livestock keepers, where he called on farmers to insure their livestock.
The Chief Officer encouraged them to keep records of new stock, sale of milk, new births that can act as prove in the financial institutions.
“Our livestock farmers are rich, they have hundreds of herds that can grant them loans worth millions of shillings but they do not have any financial proof,” said Dr. Letuati.
The County Official asked the farmers to be saving their money through mainstream banks as well as mobile money services, where they are able to prove the value of their stock if requested by insurance or money-lending institutions.
Lofte Kesho Commercial Manager, Bernard Njathi, reiterated that the Organization is reaching out to livestock keepers to sensitise them on the importance of insuring their livestock against natural calamities such as drought.
“We want to break the traditional barriers that have been hindering local farmers from turning their livestock into assets and making themselves credit-worthy and also insuring them to restore investment confidence,” said Njathi.
He added that they were also carrying out civic education among farmers on the importance of digital ear tags that they are giving to farmers in Narok and Kajiado counties.
“In the livestock value chain, skin is also valuable. We have realized that most farmers still brand their livestock’s skin for identification which lowers the quality of the hides and skins,” explained Njathi.
He narrated that the Lofte Kesho are offering two types of ear tags; one for identification and another one that can be connected with a mobile phone and keeps digital records of the livestock.
Njathi said climate change has affected animal production, but advocated the need for farmers in Narok and Kajiado, to keep dual-purpose cow breeds such as the Sahiwal, which are drought-resistant and can produce meat.
Jacob Lempaka, a dairy farmer at Ntulele in Narok East, who attended the training asked the financial/insurance companies to roll out massive capacity building on insurance, saying most farmers are still ignorant.
“Most farmers rear livestock for posterity and should they be enlightened that they can use them as security in banks and that they can insure them against drought, then there could be a paradigm shift in the livestock industry,” said Mr Lempaka.
By Ann Salaton
Kilimo news and Lofte Kesho paid a courtesy visit to JJ Farm