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Swiss Re reinsures Rwanda crop insurance programme

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By Sarah Mortimer

LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - A Swiss Re-backedmicro-insurance project that provides weather insurance forcrops in Kenya has been expanded to Rwanda, the companiesinvolved said on Friday.

The project will offer low-cost insurance to 20,000 farmersin the southern and western provinces of Rwanda to protect themfrom financial losses against repeated bad weather destroyingtheir crops.

Rwanda endures a tropical temperate climate with irregularrainfall and an economy based mainly on agriculture.

Micro-insurance insures low-income people against specificperils in exchange for premiums proportionate to the likelihoodand cost of the risk involved.

The program, known as 'Kilimo Salama', which means 'safefarming', was launched in Kenya in 2010 by the SyngentaFoundation for Sustainable Agriculture, the ministry ofAgriculture and Animal Resources, One Acre Fund, SORAS Insurancein Rwanda, and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.

Over 10,000 farmers in Kenya have received payouts from theprogramme, a statement said.

Rwandan farmers will pay an insurance premium as part oftheir loan repayments for fertilizer. Claims will be paid outbased on data from eight weather stations, which have beeninstalled in the Southern and Western provides.

The weather stations will record weather changes and releaseupdates on rainfall record. When the data meets the criteria fora claim, it will trigger a payout to One Acre Fund, which willcompensate individual farmers or forgive their loans.

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(Reporting by Sarah Mortimer. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)

((sarah.mortimer@thomsonreuters.com)(+44)(0)(20 75429619)(Reuters Messaging:sarah.mortimer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: RWANDA INSURANCE/