Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has launched a new global initiative in collaboration with World Bank Group member IFC, pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer, and irrigation manufacturer Netafim, which aims to support smallholders grow their farms into sustainable, commercially viable businesses.
The initiative, called Better Life Farming, will offer risk transfer options alongside high-quality farming inputs, precision irrigation, and advisory services.
Swiss Re will protect smallholder farmers from adverse weather and natural disasters by offering affordable risk transfer solutions, so farming businesses can remain viable and repay loans despite unforeseen circumstances.
By making smallholder farmers more resilient to risk, Swiss Re ultimately strengthens the entire agricultural value chain, as banks can more confidently lend capital and invest in farming businesses.
Better Life Farming aims to combine global expertise with local insights, boosting productivity through commercially-driven, market-based approaches to smallholders’ financial inclusion.
Services offered by the initiative will range from advanced agricultural practices, seeds, precision irrigation and crop protection to finance, re/insurance, training, and access to markets.
Agostino Galvagni, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, said: “Through the Better Life Farming initiative, we can protect even more smallholder farmers from existential threats like droughts, hail, floods and adverse weather.
“By offering financial compensation for crop shortfalls and income loses, insurance can help farmers rebound quickly after a natural disaster – and continue growing their farming businesses and providing for their families.”
Smallholder farmers are classified as those who cultivate less than two hectares of land, and 450 million of them collectively produce around 80% of the food supply in developing countries.
They will become increasingly important as populations continue to rise in developing countries, and yet they are also particularly vulnerable to food insecurity and existential threats like climate impacts, pests and crop diseases, fluctuating commodity prices, and market access barriers.
Swiss Re has committed to providing its risk transfer capabilities and expertise to these smallholder clients in order to improve the lives and livelihoods of rural communities, and to support developing nations.