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Mali’s Mobile-based Crop Insurer

Malian fintech startup OKO Finance has distributed US$70,000 in payouts to farmers affected by floods through its new insurance service. Founded in 2017, OKO develops affordable mobile-based crop insurance products to provide smallholder farmers with the financial security they need, regardless of unstable climate trends. “We use the latest satellite observations to develop precise weather monitoring tools and partner with mobile operators to give access to insurance to farmers remotely, in a few clicks and in multiple installments. OKO also works with loan institutions to facilitate access to capital for insured farmers,” chief executive officer (CEO) Simon Schwall told Disrupt Africa just over a year ago. OKO is active in Mali and in Uganda, with plans to expand to many more markets in the coming years, and is already proving impactful in its home market. Heavy rains in July and August had disastrous consequences for farmers, but those that had insured their fields at the start of the season immediately received compensation for their losses. In partnership with Orange and SUNU Assurances, OKO launches its insurance service last January. It is available to all Orange users via USSD, and has been used by nearly 5,000 farmers so far.