“When the money came through my phone via M-Pesa, I was sure it was a mistake. I was sure that someone had erroneously sent me money. So I waited for the sender to call me and demand that I send back the money,” Jacinta Mutuse, a farmer from Wote, Makueni County recalls.
She had just received about KES 900 (USD 9) through the Replanting Guarantee (RPG). The RPG is an innovative weather index based ins urance for improved seed and fertilizer. It covers the risk of poor rainfall during the crops’ germination phase that necessitates replanting. 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.
That is how Jacinta received a payout. About a month before, Jacinta had purchased 10 bags of Duma 43 maize packets from her local agrovet. She had been instructed at the agrovet that inside the packet of the seeds, she would find a card with a unique code, which she would use to register for insurance at no additional cost. When she learned about the insurance attached to the packet of Duma 43 maize packet, she was a little skeptical. However, she still registered and planted her seeds over the next few weeks. She initially planted 2 bags, and then after a few weeks, planted the remaining 8 bags. Adverse weather conditions registered on the days she planted the first two bags.
“When no call came through, I called the Acre Africa customer care line. I was then informed that the money was not a mistake. I was very excited. I was also very happy to get the money on my phone without me having to contact anyone” Jacinta narrates.
Timely claim settlement allows the customer to purchase another bag of inputs so as not to miss the entire planting season.
However, Jacinta opted to meet other household needs.
“I paid a debt with the money. Since it was still not raining, I did not but another packet of seed,” she explains. “This reimbursement helped me so that I did not have to go through a double loss when the rains failed,” she says.
The 35-year old farmer and mother of one also grows beans, green grams, oranges and vegetables on her 3-acre piece of land. Jacinta mostly farms for subsistence farming, and when she harvests extra, she sells at the nearby Wote market.
“I will be buying the Duma 43 even next time because not only do they retain moisture and give me higher yields, compared to traditional seed. I encourage my fellow farmers to buy Duma seeds because they are guaranteed a payout with Duma. The insurance works!” Jacinta concludes.
 M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service launched in 2007 by Vodafone for Safaricom and Vodacom, the largest mobile network operators in Kenya and Tanzania.