ACRE Tanzania Insurance Agency Limited (ACRE Tanzania) is a registered agent focusing on the development and distribution of agricultural micro-insurance products for the benefit of a growing number of smallholder farmers. ACRE Tanzania is part of ACRE Africa. ACRE Tanzania formal business activities commenced in 2015 and are supported by a seasoned team of experts with a wide range of experience in reinsurance, actuarial, climate modeling, underwriting, product and business development, country specific knowledge, agronomy & agriculture, insurance training & capacity building, public and private sector resource mobilization.
ACRE Africa entry into Tanzania was guided by a comprehensive multi-value assessment conducted in 2013/2014 with the support of Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF). The findings from the market survey guided the team in implementing commercially viable agricultural insurance products with private sector agribusinesses and financial institutions that work with smallholder farmers. Full report findings are available
ACRE Africa’s new country engagement strategy involves an initial country scoping/market survey exercise to generate a concrete business case that informs the mode of entry. For Tanzania, a combination of in-depth interviews with regulators, implementers and potential takers of agricultural insurance products was undertaken.
The in-depth interviews (IDIs) involved one-on-one interviews with target respondents. This method allows the researcher to drill down on issues in great depths and the respondent is able to express himself/herself better even on sensitive issues/topics better since there is no other audience. These were used to get qualitative information from key respondents who included relevant Tanzania’s government ministries, its agencies, and various developmental partners. In the private sector, interviews were done with officials from banks, agribusinesses, processors, and input companies.
The data collected from the in-depth interviews was verified through Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). FGDs are a qualitative approach that interprets and presents the market at the level of the individual rather than at the aggregate level. The techniques employed in FGD help in developing ideas and stimulating the discussion to enhance participation thus reaching information that is beyond conscious views. For Tanzania, the FGDs involved field visits and discussions with farmers, regional agribusinesses, potential clients, farmer groups, and other stakeholders.
As a result, commercially viable products were shortlisted and an entry strategy formulated for the country. Following the country scoping/feasibility study, ACRE Africa was commissioned by Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF) to introduce Agricultural Insurance and Financial Education to smallholder farmers in Northern (Arusha) and Southern Tanzania (Iringa) http://scbf.ch/financial-education-campaigns/.
We have developed an innovative financial solution that enables institutions to provide farmers with access to credit. Access to affordable agricultural credit at the start of the season is essential for farmers to purchase improved seed, fertilizer, crop protection and other production inputs. We bundle insurance with loans from credit institutions, which enables to protect credit institutions against widespread default from large scale severe weather events that directly affects farmers ability to repay loans; and that cause a negative ripple effect in agri-value chains. The premium payment is pre-financed by the financial institution; the borrowing client pays it back as part of the loan installments.
Mobile Based Products
Leveraging on the increasing number of mobile subscribers in Tanzania, ACRE Tanzania offers farmers the Replanting Guarantee Product (RPG) which protects farmers against drought at the germination phase of crop development. As farmers purchase quality seed or fertilizer, they register for the insurance, pre-financed by the input company. Each farmer finds a card with a unique code in the bag. The card shows in simple steps how to register on the mobile platform location and planting date are obtained through registration and the cover period begins. If drought affects the crop, the farmer can either receive a mobile money transfer or a discount on the next seed or fertilizer purchase.
Based on the team’s experience in Insurance Trainings, Weather Advisories, Value Chain Assessments, Actuarial Analysis Micro insurance Design, and Reinsurance & Underwriting, we are able to offer a wide range of training services in Financial Education.
Multiple approaches are taken: either direct or indirect. The direct approach involves in-person trainings at cooperatives and farmer groups such as MVIWATA (A national farmers organization which brings together small holder farmers from all regions of Tanzania), while the indirect approach involves workshops to train TOTs of stakeholders, audio and SMS messaging.
The trainings target farmers, policy makers, implementing partners, input companies, aggregators and other stakeholders vital in the agricultural insurance value chain in Tanzania. They vary in content, customized to suit the audience and cover a range of topics regarding insurance, financial inclusion for rural populations, policy changes necessary to encourage more financial inclusion.
ACRE Africa maintains a controlling interest in ACRE Tanzania leveraging on the strengths of an in-country team for client engagement and the support of headquarter expertise for operations. This model is based on ACRE Africa’s new country engagement strategy that involves the generation of business and client traction using a precise in-country team before the business can support a large in-country presence.
ACRE Tanzania is headed by a Portfolio Manager, Christopher Mazali, who has over five years experience in the agricultural insurance sector and over three years experience implementing Weather Index Insurance for smallholder farmers in rural Tanzania.