For the first time a quick & easy double-loop learning system is developed between agricultural development and insurances.
The project “Secured Growth” focuses on increasing crop productivity of farmers in Burundi and Kenya. These farmers can become trapped in a downward spiral of reduced productivity resulting in less income for quality seeds and fertilisers, meaning they will adopt risk-adverse farm management strategies, because the risk of crop failure is too high.
For insurance companies the low performance of smallholder farms in combination with their resistance to change behaviour towards more market oriented, but more risky, crop production threatens the financial sustainability of the system.
Farmers are always eager to learn and by giving feedback about their own performance and options for improvement, they are motivated to take a step towards better market oriented crop production with optimal natural resource management.
Within “Secured Growth” Alterra developed this tool called MonQUEFTS together with insurance company Achmea, NGO ZOA, LEI, and Envista Consultancy. The tool serves three purposes:
- it gives an insight in farm management and performance while being able to supply soil and crop specific fertiliser recommendations,
- farm performances can be used as input for local insurances,
- results are used for feedback for farmers to make better use of organic material on their own farm while achieving a higher yield. This will encourage them to improve their farm performance.
The MonQUEFTS tool is based on two pillars; MonQI, a monitoring tool for farm management and performance, and the second pillar QUEFTS; a soil fertility tool which provides fertiliser recommendations, depending on input from crop and soil characteristics.
This tool supports the break through of local customs and practices, which prevent farmers to take the next step in local development. To find the connection with regional or international markets, using local insurances can be one way to broaden more risk prone crop production while the tool provides feedback and advises farmers at the same time about their resource management.