Lemonade Crypto Climate Coalition Parametric Policy Protected over 7k Kenyan Farmers

The blockchain-based smart contracts trigger instant payouts to mobile wallets of smallholder farmers impacted by severe weather conditions.

(Smallholder farmer, Grace Gombe Mlango, tends to her family’s farm in Taita Taveta county, Kenya. Source: Lemonade/Businesswire.)

The Lemonade Crypto Climate Coalition, a blockchain-based parametric crop protection for subsistence farmers, has announced the completion of its initial launch. Led by the Lemonade Foundation, the Lemonade Crypto Climate Coalition provided protection for farmers’ livelihoods impacted by weather events during the recent growing season in Kenya, according to a statement from Lemonade. The company reports that, at the end of the season, those eligible were paid out instantly via smart blockchain contracts. Lemonade says the use of smart contracts enabled fast cash transfers without the need for filing claims, or for human adjusters, lowering costs, and avoiding the often months-long timeline associated with the process.

Alongside additional founding partners, AvalancheChainlinkDAOstackEtheriscHannover Re, and Pula, the Lemonade Crypto Climate Coalition offered its non-profit, instantaneous crop protection program to smallholder farmers in the region at the commencement of the planting season. Subsequently, 7,000 farmers signed up to protect their crops during the most recent short rains season from October 2022 to January 2023, Lemonade reports. Most of these included green grams and sorghum—principal staple foods grown throughout the region, with green grams representing a main food source for a majority of the population. At the end of the season cash transfers were automatically triggered based on area yield data and sent directly to farmers.

Shai Wininger, Director, Lemonade Foundation.

“Working alongside our partners and seeing the very real impact decentralized technologies can have on smallholder farmers in Kenya is incredibly encouraging,” says Shai Wininger, Director, Lemonade Foundation. “We’ve built highly-accurate data models that trigger autonomous smart contracts, not only bringing the cost of handling a claim down to almost zero, but also providing the best experience for our customers. We’re excited to expand beyond this initial stage and continue scaling to give even more farmers access to critical financial protection when they need it most.”

“The Lemonade Crypto Climate Coalition’s groundbreaking Kenya project built on Avalanche illustrates how blockchain is uniquely positioned to make the world better not only in the future, but now,” comments John Wu, President, Ava Labs. “We are proud to support the Lemonade Foundation as it helps thousands of smallholder farmers secure their livelihoods from climate dangers. This project is still just on the runway, and thousands of farmers might just be the beginning of a massive movement.”

John Wu, President, Ava Labs.

Lemonade recounts that Grace Gombe Mlango (see main illustration above), one of the first farmers to sign up for the program and the sole provider for her family, had purchased crop protection in the past; however, the delay in receiving her payout following that season’s lack of rain impacted her ability to prepare and plan for the season ahead. When she was introduced to the mission behind the Lemonade Crypto Climate Coalition, she was inspired to try again, Lemonade says.

“Climate change has really impacted my family, especially when it comes to what we plant and our livestock,” Mlango says. “We previously planted maize, but with the current rainfall, we prefer green grams because we [usually can] still harvest them even with little rain. Once I harvest it, I can sell it and buy maize from other farmers—a key source of food and income for my family. “Farming is a game of chance, and when I was told about the program, I felt it was better to register because if the season fails, we would be compensated. I registered that same day, which was easy. And given this season, the compensation I received will help me buy food for my family and seeds for the next season.”

The next phase of the project will focus on the upcoming long rains season in Kenya in April, with plans to scale the program throughout the region and expand to support tens of thousands more subsistence farmers facing real climate risks to their livelihoods, Lemonade notes.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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